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Petitions

Volume 518: debated on Friday 12 November 2010

Petition

Friday 12 November 2010

Observations

Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Blockade of Gaza

The Petition of the West Wiltshire Palestinian Support Group and residents of the Chippenham Constituency,

Declares that Israel’s blockade of Gaza is illegal and inhumane.

The Petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Foreign Secretary to call on Israel to end its blockade of Gaza.

And the Petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Duncan Hames, Official Report, 17 June 2010; Vol. 511, c. 13P.]

[P000836]

Observations from the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs:

We have consistently made it clear that the situation in Gaza is a tragedy and unsustainable. Together with the EU and Quartet, we have called on Israel to ease restrictions on access and enable a return to economic normality.

We therefore welcome Israel’s decision to move from a list of 120 permitted goods to a list of specific prohibited items. This step shows that it is possible to lift the pressure on ordinary Gazans without compromising the security of ordinary Israelis. All parties must now work together urgently to deliver real change on the ground. This will mean building capacity at the crossings, getting vital reconstruction projects up and running and ensuring that Gazans can export as well as import goods. The UK stands ready to support this.

We are also doing what we can to offer practical support to the people of Gaza. Following the end of the Gaza conflict in 2009 the UK pledged £26.8 million to the people of Gaza for humanitarian aid and early recovery activities, of which over £24 million has already been spent, providing, for example, food for nearly one million people.