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Palestine

Volume 450: debated on Friday 20 October 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the impact on education in the Occupied Territories of Israel’s approach to the granting or refusal of permits for Palestinian foreign passport holders for entry, re-entry or continuous residence in the Occupied Territories. (95446)

Since spring 2006, the Israeli authorities have been more strictly enforcing entry procedures towards foreign nationals (including those of Palestinian origin) who wish to visit the Occupied Territories. This includes would-be teachers and students. As a result, we estimate that hundreds of foreign nationals have been refused entry. Our embassy in Tel Aviv raised our concerns with the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs on 21 August.

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what assessment he has made of the impact of the availability of health facilities for Palestinian children in Gaza and the West Bank on the quality of care; and if he will make a statement. (95725)

DFID is providing support to the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs to help in monitoring the state of health care services in Gaza and the West Bank. Most health facilities have remained open since the start of the year. However, recent reports indicate that the strike by Palestinian authority workers that began on 23 August has led to reduced services being offered in hospitals and health centres across the West Bank. Gaza hospitals remain relatively unaffected. The UN Relief Works Agency, which provides services for the refugee population, has reported that there is an increase in the number of non-refugee families using their immunisation service.