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Palestinians: Israel

Volume 496: debated on Thursday 16 July 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether officials of his Department have held recent meetings with representatives of labour rights groups in Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory to discuss labour conditions in that territory. (287157)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs whether his Department has received requests from UK companies for advice on obligations under international law in respect of trade with Israeli settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory in the last 12 months. (287160)

We consider all settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories to be illegal under international law, and a serious obstacle to peace, and have made this position clear.

The import of goods from settlements was discussed at a roundtable meeting hosted by Cabinet Office officials regarding proposed voluntary guidance on the labelling of settlement produce in March. That meeting was attended by representatives of Government, retailers and some UK companies.

We have not provided legal advice on UK companies' obligations in relation to trade with Israeli settlements, on which UK companies should of course take their own independent advice.