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Israel and Palestine: Gaza

Volume 684: debated on Tuesday 25 July 2006

asked Her Majesty’s Government:

What action they are taking, either unilaterally or with the Government of Israel and the quartet, to restore full electricity supply to the 22 hospitals in Gaza and to provide food for the 30,000 children suffering from malnutrition. [HL6930]

Following the Israeli attack on Gaza’s only power station, electricity supplies in Gaza remain limited. Restoring full and reliable electricity supplies is a humanitarian priority. This will require Israel to facilitate the passage of essential equipment.

Since 11 July, the European Commission has provided fuel for six hospitals in the Gaza Strip. The fuel is for back-up generators which allow hospital equipment to operate during power outages. This is being funded through the temporary international mechanism (TIM) for Palestinian basic needs. The UK intends to contribute up to £12 million to the TIM.

In June and July, the World Food Programme (WFP) provided food for 160,000 people in Gaza. The United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) also provides food, education, health and housing assistance to Palestinian refugees in Gaza and elsewhere in the Middle East. DfID provided £15 million to UNRWA in April. We continue to monitor the humanitarian situation closely.