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West Bank

Volume 564: debated on Wednesday 12 June 2013

8. What research her Department has undertaken into the humanitarian effects of the occupation of the west bank. (159152)

We are deeply concerned by the impact of the occupation on the lives of Palestinians in the west bank. DFID assesses this constantly. Reports from the UN and others clearly document poverty, displacement, constrained growth and the demolition this year alone of 247 Palestinian structures.

Those who have been to the west bank and to Gaza will be frustrated constantly to see international aid used to pay for buildings which are promptly knocked down by the Israeli regime. Is the Minister aware that according to figures in the United Nations “Humanitarian Monitor” monthly report for April, there was a 30% rise in the number of Palestinians displaced by house demolitions, with a total of 46 structures demolished by the Israeli army, which included five paid for by international donors?

The Government share the hon. Gentleman’s concerns about the nature and scale of the demolitions. I am pleased to say, however, that we have contributed to the construction of a number of schools in Gaza, where we hope children will be educated without their premises ever being demolished.