HC Deb 28 January 2004 vol 417 cc414-5W
Dr. Tonge

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations he has made to the Israeli Government concerning(a) illegal settlements in Gaza and the West Bank and (b)continued construction of the security wall. [149820]

Mr. Rammell

The Government regularly raise these issues with the Government of Israel. We have made clear that settlements are illegal under international law and an obstacle to a comprehensive peace in the region, and that we regard the building of the wall on occupied Palestinian land as unlawful

Mr. Laws

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what action the UK Government is taking in relation to the building of the partition wall by Israel in Palestinian territory; and if he will make a statement. [151161]

Mr. Rammell

The Government continues to urge the Government of Israel to re-route the fence away from Palestinian areas. My right hon. Friends the Prime Minster and the Foreign Secretary have made clear our concerns to the Israeli Prime Minister and Foreign Minister on a number of occasions. My noble Friend the Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean has raised the matter with the Israeli Foreign Minister, the Israeli Ambassador and the Israeli Minister for National Infrastructure. My noble Friend saw the impact of the fence for herself on 22 January.

The Government recognises Israel's legitimate security concerns, and deplores the suicide bombings of Israeli civilians. But we consider Israel's building of a wall, or fence, on occupied land to be unlawful, and have urged the Israeli government to reconsider its route.

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