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Israel: Armed Conflict

Volume 474: debated on Monday 31 March 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions (a) he, (b) Ministers and (c) officials in his Department have had with the government of Israel on suicide bombings in Israel; what recent representations he has received on the subject; and if he will make a statement. (196096)

My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary publicly condemned the suicide attack in Dimona on 4 February 2008. There can be no justification for attacks that deliberately target civilians. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary speaks regularly to Israeli Foreign Secretary Livni about issues relating to Israeli security, most recently on 6 March 2008. Our embassy in Tel Aviv has regular discussions with the Israeli government about issues relating to Israeli security.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he (a) has had recently and (b) plans to have with EU counterparts on the reported storage of (i) rockets and (ii) arms by Hamas in civilian areas in Gaza; and if he will make a statement. (196143)

We have regular discussions with our EU partners on the subject of Israel's security. We condemn all terrorist activities. However, we have had no particular discussions with our EU counterparts on the storage of arms and rockets in civilian areas by Hamas. The UK condemns the storage of arms and rockets by Hamas in civilian areas. The UK urges all parties to adopt a peaceful, political resolution to the conflict.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions he (a) has had and (b) plans to have with EU counterparts on reported comments by the President of the Palestinian Authority on the recognition by Hamas of the state of Israel; and if he will make a statement. (196148)

My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary has regular discussions with his EU counterparts on the subject of the middle east peace process, including on our position on Hamas, most recently at the informal Foreign Ministers' meeting (Gymnich). They will continue at the April EU General Affairs and External Relations Council. Our policy towards Hamas remains the same based on the three Quartet principles: recognition of Israel, acceptance of previous agreements and renunciation of violence.