Written questions

Roger Godsiff MP: What representations has Foreign Secretary made to his Israeli counterpart on the recent destruction of fruit trees at the Tent of Nations farm?

Lord Judd: What representations have HMG made to G4S about the legal implications of its remaining involvement with the Israeli Prison Service until 2017, in the light of Article 76 of the 4th Geneva Convention and its application to the detention of Palestinians?

Baroness Tonge: What discussions have HMG had with the new President of Egypt concerning the opening of Rafah crossing to Gaza, in order to facilitate travel and the transfer of medical supplies?

Baroness Tonge: What is HMG’s most recent assessment of the level of medical supplies in Gazan hospitals? Baroness Northover: (extract) “The World Health Organisation (WHO) has estimated that in Gaza at 29% of drugs are at zero stock (less than 1 month’s supply).”

Baroness Tonge: What discussions have the Government held with their European partners with regard to listing Israeli settler groups such as Hilltop Youth as terrorist groups, following the US State Department’s description of recent settler acts of violence as terrorist incidents?

Baroness Tonge: What action do HMG plan to take to promote the education of UK citizens about the events of 1948 in Palestine?

Lord Hylton: What representations have the Government made to the government of Israel about its holding children detained in the West Bank and East Jerusalem in immediate solitary confinement; whether they have any plans to work within the European Union to end the practice; whether they know when the proposed system of summons will start; and whether they will take steps to ensure access by parents to their children in custody?

Baroness Warsi: The system of summons started in February 2014. It has already shown initial success in decreasing the number of children arrested at night. We intend to carry out further analysis on this system over the coming months. As a recent progress report by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) indicates, Israel has taken some positive steps towards addressing the recommendations in UNICEF’s Children in Israeli Military Detention report. These include: the introduction of legal obligations to inform the child’s parents of an arrest and grant them legal status to be represented in court, as well as to notify minors of their legal rights; and standard operating procedures on methods of restraint. The Government will continue to work, both through bilateral engagement and through the EU, to encourage Israel to take further positive steps.

Baroness Tonge: What assessment have the Government made of the impact of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office-sponsored report, Children in Military Custody, on Israeli interrogation methods of Palestinian children; and what follow-up to the report they intend to undertake.

Baroness Warsi: The Minister wrote to the Israeli Attorney General on 31 March 2014 to welcome the steps taken to date and to call for further measures, including the mandatory use of audio-visual recording of interrogations, investigation into continued reports of single hand ties being used, and an end to solitary confinement for children. These were key UK recommendations at Israel’s Universal Periodic Review session at the UN Human Rights Council on 29 October 2013.

A progress report published in October 2013 by the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) indicates that Israel has taken some positive steps towards addressing the recommendations in the report. These include: the introduction of legal obligations to inform the child’s parents of an arrest and grant them legal status to be represented in court, as well as to notify minors of their legal rights; and standard operating procedures on methods of restraint. The Israeli military are also piloting a new procedure across the West Bank, whereby children are issued a summons to attend a police station in the morning, rather than being arrested at night, in their homes. The UK believes that the report “Children in Military Custody” has helped contribute to these changes in practice.

EDM 183 – PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF THE UNITED STATES AND ISRAEL

Tabled by Sir Bob Russell MP

“That this House congratulates the Presbyterian Church of the United States on its vote to divest from Hewlett-Packard, Motorola Solutions and Caterpillar, all companies with well-documented ties to the Israeli illegal occupation of the West Bank in defiance of international law, the Geneva Convention and UN resolutions; notes that this is the biggest move yet by any institution in the US to take non-violent action to end Israel’s occupation; and calls on the Government to urge British companies with interests in the West Bank, such as G4S, to terminate their involvement which supports the illegal occupation.” http://www.parliament.uk/edm/2014-15/183

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