HC Deb 26 May 2004 vol 421 c1639W
Sir Menzies Campbell

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will make a statement on the report by Amnesty International, "Israel and the Occupied Territories—Under the rubble: House demolition and destruction of land and property", published on 18 May. [175287]

Mr. Straw

We share Amnesty International's concerns about deteriorating housing conditions in the Occupied Territories and the wider human rights and humanitarian consequences of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. In a press statement on 17 May I expressed my concern at the demolition of Palestinian homes in Rafah. These actions are contrary to Israel's commitments under the roadmap and are unacceptable. And on 19 May, I expressed my profound concern about the deaths of Palestinian civilians demonstrating against house demolitions. Copies of both my statements are available on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website: www.fco.gov.uk/policy/news/press-releases. Demolitions are provocative, exacerbate tension and undermine ongoing efforts to bring about an end to violence and a return to negotiations. Israel must act within international law and refrain from using excessive force and taking actions which amount to collective punishment. The UK voted for UNSCR 1544 which condemned Israel's actions on 19 May 2004.

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