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Israel and Palestine: Gaza

Volume 688: debated on Monday 8 January 2007

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether Israel's practice in closing the entry and exit points to Gaza constitutes a collective punishment in international law; and what steps they are taking to improve the situation. [HL882]

Israel has a duty to protect its citizens from terrorist attack but should also ensure that the effects of its security measures on the Palestinian population are minimised.

We have consistently raised our concerns about the closure of the Israel/Gaza crossing points with the Israeli Government. The Israeli Government have informed us that the closures reflect specific security concerns. They have assured us that they will continue to support the transfer of humanitarian assistance to avert a potential crisis due to lack of food and money there.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether the United Nations Human Rights Council mission to Israel has been allowed to enter Gaza; and, if not, whether they will make representations on this matter to the Government of Israel. [HL931]

The. Human Rights Council established the fact-finding mission in a resolution adopted during a special session on 15 November. The Israeli Government have made no final decision regarding the mission. Our Embassy in Tel Aviv raised our concerns with the Israeli Ministry for Foreign Affairs on 19 December.