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Israel

Volume 448: debated on Tuesday 4 July 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what representations (a) she and (b) her officials have made to the Government of Israel in the last 12 months regarding its detention of Palestinian children taken by Israeli forces in the Occupied Palestinian Territories; and on what occasion such representations were last made at ministerial level; (82168)

(2) what representations (a) she and (b) her officials have made to the Government of Israel in the last 12 months regarding its detention without trial of Palestinians taken by Israeli forces in the Occupied Palestinian Territories; and on what occasion such representations were last made at ministerial level.

We remain concerned by Israel’s policy of administrative detention, particularly that of minors. We last raised Palestinian prisoners with the Israeli Ministry for Foreign Affairs on 15 June and our ambassador in Tel Aviv last raised this with Israeli Prime Minister Olmert’s special advisor on 22 March.

We have not made any representations at ministerial level in the last 12 months.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports she has received from the UN about the numbers of (a) Palestinians and (b) Israelis (i) killed and (ii) injured during May and June 2006; how many (A) Palestinians were (1) killed and (2) injured by (x) Israeli fire and (y) internal violence, (B) Israelis were (aa) killed and (bb) injured by Palestinian fire and (C) (xx) Palestinians and (yy) Israelis were (AA) killed and (BB) injured from a disputed source; and if she will describe the disputes involved. (82173)

[holding answer 3 July 2006]: We rely on a range of organisations including the UN and media reports for our figures.

The UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) reported on 27 June that, in May 2006, 30 Palestinians were killed and 100 injured by Israeli fire and Palestinian internal fighting. In June 2006, OCHA state that 57 Palestinians were killed and 196 injured. No Israelis were killed or injured by Israeli fire or Palestinian internal violence in May 2006. Two Israelis were killed and 14 injured in June 2006.

In May 2006, 20 Palestinians were killed and 28 injured from Israeli fire or a disputed source in Gaza. 43 Palestinians were killed and 114 injured in June 2006. Between 8-31 May, 10 Palestinians were killed and 72 injured from internal violence in Gaza. From 1-25 June, 14 Palestinians were killed and 82 injured.

In June 2006, OCHA reported that two Israeli defence force soldiers were killed at Kerem Shalom military post. The majority of Israelis injured by Palestinian home-made rockets occurred in Sderot and the neighbouring towns.

On 9 June, seven Palestinians were killed on Gaza beach from either incoming Israeli fire or unexploded ordinance. The circumstances of this incident have been disputed by the Palestinian Authority and the Israeli Government.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what (a) reports she has received from the UN and (b) estimate she has made of the numbers of Israeli air force strikes into the Gaza Strip during May and June. (82174)

[holding answer 3 July 2006]: We rely on a range of organisations including the UN and media reports for our figures. On 27 June, the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs, stated that there were 14 Israel air force air strikes in Gaza in May and 33 in June.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what (a) reports she has received from the UN and (b) estimate she has made of the numbers of Israeli defence force artillery shells fired into the Gaza Strip during May and June 2006. (82175)

[holding answer 3 July 2006]: We rely on a range of organisations including the UN and media reports for our figures. The UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs reported on 27 June, that 2,435 Israeli defence force shells were fired into Gaza in May and a total of 642 shells were fired in June.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what (a) reports she has received from the UN and (b) estimate she has made of the numbers of Palestinian home-made rockets fired from the Gaza Strip during May and June 2006. (82176)

[holding answer 3 July 2006]: We rely on a range of organisations including the UN and media reports for our figures. On 27 June the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs, reported that 132 Palestinian home-made rockets were fired from Gaza in May and 237 fired in June.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations she has made to the Government of Israel regarding the round of military incursions into Gaza which commenced on 27 June. (82177)

[holding answer 3 July 2006]: Our ambassador in Tel Aviv discussed the recent Israeli military actions in Gaza with Israeli Defence Minister Peretz on 28 June. The Israeli Defence Minister emphasised that Israel had no intention of re-occupying Gaza, and that the operation would be measured and targeted and that Israel would do all it could to avoid civilian casualties. Our embassy in Tel Aviv and officials in London have continued to engage with Israel on the issue.