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Israel and Palestine: Hostages

Volume 684: debated on Tuesday 25 July 2006

asked Her Majesty’s Government:

Whether they will consider a specific joint initiative with the Government of France to persuade the parties to the Israel-Palestine conflict to enter into immediate peace talks and the release of hostages and detainees. [HL7012]

We are gravely concerned by the escalation of the situation. We continue to raise our concerns on a regular basis to both the Israelis and the Palestinians and call upon all parties in the region to make every effort possible to resolve the current situation by peaceful means. We call for the immediate, unconditional release of the abducted Israeli soldiers. We also continue to have concerns about the detention of members of the Palestinian Government and legislature on 29 June. Those detained should be accorded their full legal rights and either be charged or released.

As my right honourable friend the Prime Minister has made clear, negotiations are manifestly the best way to take this process forward. We will continue to work with both our quartet (EU, US, UN and Russia) and EU partners, including France, to this end.