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Palestinians: Overseas Aid

Volume 493: debated on Monday 1 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development (1) what steps the Government has taken to seek to ensure that the Israeli government does not prevent food from entering Gaza; (276527)

(2) if he will make representations to the Israeli government to allow humanitarian supplies into Gaza;

(3) what discussions he has had with his Israeli counterpart on restrictions on the supply of humanitarian aid to Palestinians in Gaza.

The humanitarian situation in Gaza is of serious concern. The UK Government have consistently lobbied for unrestricted access for food and other humanitarian supplies into Gaza.

During his visit to Gaza in March, the Secretary of State met with Isaac Herzog, the Israeli Minister responsible for co-ordinating aid to Gaza, and pressed for improved access and a relaxation of restrictions on the type of goods allowed across the border. The Prime Minister, the Foreign Secretary and officials from both the Department for International Development and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office have also had meetings with the Israeli government on the need to reduce the constraints on goods entering Gaza.