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Volume 455: debated on Monday 8 January 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether the Government have made representations to the Israeli authorities on the effect of (a) the Annexation Wall and (b) the failure to renew temporary access permits for staff and students on the future of the Arab Orphan School in Atarot, East Jerusalem. (113021)

We have not made any representations to the Israeli Government about this issue. However, during his visit to the region on 11 to 13 December, my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for International Development raised our concerns about the barrier with Israeli Foreign Minister Livni.

We are concerned at the restrictions on freedom of movement in the occupied territories. We understand the current difficulties that Palestinian students are facing to enter Israel in order to continue their education. On 19 December the Israeli Supreme Court gave the Israeli Government 60 days to determine clear criteria to grant Palestinian students special permits to allow them to enter Israel for a period of over six months.