HL Deb 04 November 2004 vol 666 c44WA
The Earl of Sandwich

asked Her Majesty's Government:

Whether the Government of Israel are in breach of any articles concerning human rights under the European Union-Israel Association agreement; whether the Government have taken any legal advice on this matter; and whether they intend to raise this issue at a future meeting of the association. [HL4592]

The Minister of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Symons of Vernham Dean)

We have raised our concerns about Israeli actions on human rights grounds with the Israeli Government both as the UK and through the EU. Following the recent violence in Gaza, EU Foreign Ministers, at the 11 October General Affairs and External Relations Council, condemned "the disproportionate nature of the Israeli military actions in the Gaza Strip".

The legal services of the Commission and Council have not been asked for their opinion on whether Israel is in breach of any articles in the EU-Israel Association Agreement. We have not sought legal advice on this.

The EU has regularly raised issues of concern, including human rights, at EU/Israel Association Councils. We, with other member states, will consider in due course what issues to raise at the EU/Israel Association Council scheduled to be held at the end of this year.