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Israel: Frontiers

Volume 468: debated on Thursday 6 December 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions the Government have had with the Israeli Government on the movement of Palestinians across borders. (171831)

The implementation of the 2005 Agreement on Movement and Access stalled following the election of Hamas in January 2006. We continue to call on both the Israelis and the Palestinians to implement the agreement. We have repeatedly raised our concerns about movement and access with the Government of Israel. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary raised our concerns about movement and access on his recent visit to Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories from 17 to 19 November.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions have taken place between the British and Israeli Governments on dismantling check points. (171832)

We remain concerned about the movement restrictions in the west bank. Israel has a right to protect its citizens from terrorist attack, but also a duty to ensure the effect of its security measures on the Palestinian population are minimised. We will continue to raise this concern at all levels with the Israeli government. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary discussed movement and access issues during his recent visit to Israel and the occupied Palestinian territories from 17 to 19 November.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions have taken place between the British and Israeli Governments on the Israeli security wall. (171833)

We regularly raise our concerns about the routing of the barrier with the Israeli Government and will continue to do so. We fully recognise Israel's right to self-defence but the barrier's route should be on or behind the green line, and not on occupied territory. Construction of the barrier on Palestinian land is illegal and is particularly damaging around east Jerusalem where it threatens to divide the west bank in two.

Our embassy in Tel Aviv continues to raise these concerns.