HC Deb 10 January 2001 vol 360 cc556-7W
Dr. Starkey

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the circumstances of the attack in the West Bank on the vehicle carrying the British Consul-General last week; what representations he has made to the Israeli Government on action taken by the Israeli Defence Forces to stop the attack; and what plans the Israeli Government have to take action against those who attacked the Consul-General. [144007]

Mr. Hain

On 12 December, at about 1.45 pm, the British Consul General in Jerusalem, his wife, his driver and one of the Consulate General's staff were threatened, and the Consul General's car damaged, while detained at a temporary Israeli Defence Force (IDF) checkpoint just north of Halhoul on the West Bank.

The Consul General's official car was stopped by the IDF when it approached the checkpoint. Also present were a group of armed civilians who had partially blocked the road with a bus. While the Consul General's car was stationary, the armed civilians made threatening gestures towards the car and its occupants, and one threw a rock at the car, damaging the rear window. The IDF personnel who were present did nothing to prevent these events from taking place.

The British Embassy in Tel Aviv has made a strong protest to the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and has demanded an explanation of the IDF's failure to intervene during the incident. We have been assured that the IDF will conduct a thorough investigation. We continue to press the Israelis for a response to our protest.

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