HC Deb 10 March 1993 vol 220 cc937-8
16. Mr. Gunnell

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will now propose that the United Nations should apply sanctions against Israel in order to enforce resolution 799; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Douglas Hogg

The United States Secretary of State's visit to the middle east has, we hope, paved the way for the resumption of the peace process. We hope that the Government of Israel will now build on the important first steps they have taken towards complying with Security Council resolution 799. We continue to believe that any move towards sanctions would be unhelpful at this juncture.

Mr. Gunnell

Does the Minister agree that while so many of the Palestinian deportees are still in the wilderness —and it looks as though they will remain there for several months—there is a danger that as they drop out of the immediate news they will cease to have the cutting edge that they have previously exercised in negotiations?

If the problem is not resolved and if those people are not given their human rights and restored to their homes, at what point would the Minister agree, first, that the United Nations should impose sanctions and, secondly, that action should be taken to ensure that Israel complies with resolution 799?

Mr. Hogg

We have made our position quite clear. We believe that the deportation was quite wrong and we have said so directly to the Israeli Government. Indeed, I shall do so again tomorrow when I meet the Israeli deputy Foreign Minister, Mr. Beilin. What the Israeli Government have done thus far in compliance with resolution 799 is an important first step, but we hope that they will build speedily on that. It is in their interests to do so because while substantial numbers of deportees are out of Israel, that fact will stand in the way of a successful outcome to bilateral talks.

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