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Middle East: Armed Conflict

Volume 493: debated on Tuesday 2 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent steps he has taken to seek the lifting of the blockade of Gaza by the Israeli authorities. (276728)

[holding answer 21 May 2009]: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary raised this with the Israeli Foreign Minister on 13 May 2009 and Defence Minister Barak on 6 May 2009. He also stressed the importance of greater access in his statement to the UN Security Council on 11 May 2009.

We continue to press the Israelis authorities at official level.

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received of the discovery by Egyptian security forces on 14 May 2009 of weapons and explosive devices along the Sinai Peninsula border with Israel; and if he will make a statement. (276864)

We are aware of reports of munitions found along the Egyptian-Israeli border. We continue to work closely with international partners to tackle the issue of arms smuggling into Gaza; the UK hosted an international meeting on the issue in March 2009 and will attend a follow-up meeting in June 2009. We condemn any attempt to smuggle arms into Gaza.