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Volume 496: debated on Wednesday 16 September 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations he has made to the Israeli Prime Minister on issuing building permits for new housing in Gush Etzion, Ma'aleh Adumim, Givat Ze'ev and other Israeli settlements in the Occupied Palestinian Territories in advance of a settlement freeze. (291394)

We are extremely concerned by the recent approval by the Israeli Government of new illegal settlement construction permits. My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary made this clear in a recent telephone conversation with Ehud Barak.

The Government's position on Israeli settlements has been consistent and robust: they are illegal, a clear violation of international law, and an obstacle to peace. My right hon. Friend the Prime Minister made this clear during his 25 August 2009 meeting with the Israeli Prime Minister.