Skip to main content

Israel and Palestine: Rafah

Volume 694: debated on Wednesday 25 July 2007

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What action is being taken by the international community to assist Palestinians stranded at the Rafah crossing. [HL4923]

My right honourable friend the Foreign Secretary has raised the issue of the Rafah crossing with his Egyptian counterpart. The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is assisting Palestinians stranded there. A UN assessment team (the UN Children's Fund, the World Food Programme, the World Health Organisation and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)) concluded that no additional immediate assistance was needed, but the UNHCR and the ICRC continue to monitor the situation. The North Sinai Governorate is working on a contingency plan in the event that the crossing remains closed and people’s coping mechanisms further erode.

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What discussions they have had with the Government of Israel concerning the opening of the Rafah crossing. [HL4924]

Officials from our embassy in Tel Aviv have had numerous discussions with the Israeli Government about the humanitarian situation in Gaza. We have called, and continue to call, on Israel to facilitate humanitarian assistance and economic activity. My right honourable friend the Foreign Secretary has raised the situation at the Rafah crossing with his Egyptian counterpart.