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Israel and Palestine

Volume 692: debated on Thursday 24 May 2007

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether they support the recommendations of the Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians of the Inter-Parliamentary Union, concerning 33 detained members of the Palestinian Legislative Council, including its speaker, and their conditions of captivity; whether they will raise the particular issue of the detention of Dr A A Dweik (the speaker) and his poor state of health with the quartet and directly with the Government of Israel. [HL3765]

We do share the concerns of the Inter-Parliamentary Union concerning the 33 detained members of the Palestinian Legislative Council, including its Speaker Abdel Dweik. Although we have no plans to raise this with the quartet (EU, US, UN and Russia) or the Israeli Government, we do support the EU’s calls at the 22 January General Affairs and External Relations Council for the immediate release of Palestinian Ministers and legislators detained in Israel.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What is their response and that of the Middle East Quartet to the list of 33 benchmarks to be implemented by Israel and the Palestinian Authority during 2007; and whether they include family reunification in both the West Bank and Gaza. [HL3766]

As the proposals are currently being discussed between the parties, the quartet (EU, US, UN and Russia) has made no comment. However, we do believe it is essential that progress is made on movement and access in and between the West Bank and Gaza, and we support the development of a functioning and accountable security sector to ensure a viable future Palestinian state. Although the benchmarks do not specifically include a reference to family reunification, we remain concerned at the effects of Israel’s Nationality and Entry into Israel Law, which discriminates against Israelis who marry non-Israelis. We will continue to raise our concerns about this with the Israeli Government.