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House of Lords Hansard
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Israel and Palestine
12 October 2009
Volume 713

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To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will propose that the Middle East quartet should draw up a plan to end all conflict between Israel and Palestine and to settle wider Arab-Israeli issues. [HL5214]

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We strongly support the US approach and that of the quartet. Current US efforts to work with the parties to restart negotiations offer the best way forward to end the conflict.

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To ask Her Majesty's Government what is their assessment of Visions of the Endgame by Tony Klug, published by the Fabian Society and the Oxford Research Group. [HL5215]

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We are in contact with Tony Klug and with others who have ideas on the way forward. He provides an interesting model for how to conclude negotiations. But we are not yet at that point. Our focus is on working closely with the US and other partners to restart negotiations.

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To ask Her Majesty's Government what action they and quartet members have taken or will take to prevent Israel breaking international law by (a) increasing the number of settlers in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, and (b) issuing orders for demolishing Palestinian homes. [HL5240]

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The quartet statement of 26 June was clear in that it “urged the Government of Israel to freeze all settlement activity, including natural growth; to dismantle outposts erected since March 2001; and to refrain from provocative actions in East Jerusalem, including home demolition and evictions”.

We—and our partners—have been vocal in our opposition to illegal Israeli settlement activity and the demolition of Palestinian homes. We will continue to press the Israeli Government on these important issues.

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To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will ask the Government of Israel to reopen the premises of the Jerusalem Chamber of Commerce, in accordance with requirements set out in the road map. [HL5241]

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We have pressed the Government of Israel at the highest levels to allow the reopening of the east Jerusalem institutions, including the chamber of commerce, and we continue to call on Israel to do so. In his speech to the Knesset in July 2008, my right honourable friend the Prime Minister made a public call for the chamber of commerce to be reopened.

The UK position is clear that a comprehensive peace should be based on two states, living side by side within secure and agreed borders based on those of 1967, with Jerusalem as the capital for both states.

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To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they will make representations to the Government of Israel to hand over to the Palestinian Authority four former settlements near Jenin which have been empty since 2005 and are in a closed military area. [HL5242]

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We are aware of this issue and have worked, and will continue to work, closely with international actors including the quartet representative and the United States security co-ordinator, who have asked the Israelis to allow these buildings to be used by the Palestinians.