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Israeli Settlements

Volume 596: debated on Tuesday 9 June 2015

13. What steps he plans to take in response to demolition of Palestinian homes to make way for Israeli settlements in East Jerusalem. (900187)

Demolitions are an impediment to the two-state solution and, in all but the most limited circumstances, contrary to international humanitarian law. We have made our concerns clear to the Israeli Government, and I raised our objections with the Israeli national security adviser last week and during my visit to the occupied territories in October.

I welcome those steps, but that is broadly the same answer Ministers have been giving for a number of years. The demolitions are breaches of the fourth Geneva convention on war crimes. Given that the demolitions are continuing in spite of these steps, is it not time to consider stronger action, such as the suspension of the arms trade with Israel?

The hon. Lady is right to say that these complex issues have perplexed the House—and, indeed, the international community and the region—for a long time, but as my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary articulated, we want the talks to resume as soon as possible. The Israeli elections are now out of the way and that is what we now need to be looking towards.