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Palestinians: Overseas Aid

Volume 476: debated on Monday 19 May 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development what mechanisms the Government has put in place to ensure that any projects (a) directly and (b) indirectly funded by the UK in the Palestinian Occupied Territories do not contravene the rulings of the International Court of Justice relating to third state obligations not to assist or maintain an illegal situation. (205625)

The Department for International Development provides humanitarian support to the Occupied Palestinian Territories through the UN and the International Committee of the Red Cross, and provides support aligned with the priorities of the Palestinian Authority, as set out in their Palestinian Reform and Development Plan. We carefully assess all of our assistance to ensure that our aid is not used to assist or maintain the situation created by the construction of the Israeli separation barrier inside the Occupied Palestinian Territory including in and around East Jerusalem.

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if he will take steps to ensure that no UK funding for the Palestinian Occupied Territories will be used (a) to upgrade crossings built into the West Bank barrier where it is situated within occupied Palestinian territory and (b) to build permanent infrastructure at checkpoints within the West Bank. (205626)

The UK ensures its funds are not used to render aid or assistance to the construction of crossings built into the separation barrier where it is located within the Occupied Palestinian Territories or Israeli check points in the West Bank.

The Department for International Development (DFID) has robust monitoring mechanisms in place to ensure that our aid to the Palestinians is used for the purposes it is given for. DFID disburses funds through transparent mechanisms managed by the UN, EC, International Committee of the Red Cross, World Bank and reputable international firms.