The British Government’s current position on Israel and Palestine: Environmental issues

Question by Baroness Tonge (Independent) on 20th October 2020 (HL9384)

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they plan to take, if any, to protect olive groves and farmland in Palestine from damage by Israeli settlers.

Answer from Lord Ahmad (Conservative) on 3rd November 2020

The UK condemns any incidence of violence by settlers against Palestinians. We recognise that there can be an increase in assaults on Palestinian farmers, the destruction of olive trees and the stealing of produce coinciding with the Palestinian olive harvest, which began earlier this month. We have expressed our concerns to the Israeli Government on a number of occasions. We continue to stress the importance of the Israeli security forces providing appropriate protection to the Palestinian civilian population. We welcome the efforts of Israeli authorities to address settler violence, and urge them to thoroughly investigate every instance and bring those responsible to justice.

Question by Baroness Tonge (Independent) on 14th September 2020

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they plan to make to the government of Israel about the uprooting of olive trees for the construction of a settler-only road in Ras Karkarby by that government.

Answer from Lard Ahmad (Conservative) on 22nd September 2020

We are troubled by reports of the destruction of olive trees and we have expressed our concerns to the Israeli Government on a number of occasions. We continue to oppose settlement expansion in the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

Question by Baroness Tonge (Independent) on 23rd June 2020 (HL6099)

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they have made to the government of Israel about reports that (1) crops have been burnt by Israeli settlers, and (2) that Israeli soldiers prevented Palestinians putting out the fire. (HL6099)

Answer from Lord Ahmad (Conservative) on 6th July 2020

We have not made an assessment of these reports. We continue to raise with Israeli counterparts our concerns about settler violence and have also stressed the importance of the Israel security forces providing appropriate protection to the Palestinian civilian population

Question by Baroness Tonge (Independent) (HL5816)

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of reports that Palestinian-owned property in Al-Walaja is under threat of demolition to make way for construction of a park exclusively for Israelis; and what support, if any, are they giving to the owners of any such property.

Answer from Lord Ahmad (Conservative) on 30th June 2020

Our legal aid supports residents in Al-Walaja and officials from our Embassy in Tel Aviv and Consulate-General in Jerusalem visited the area on 17 June. As we made clear at the UN Security Council remote meeting on the Middle East Peace Process on 20 May, the UK is seriously concerned by the continued demolition of Palestinian property by Israeli authorities. In all but the most exceptional of circumstances demolitions by an occupying power are contrary to International Humanitarian Law. The practice causes unnecessary suffering to ordinary Palestinians and is harmful to the peace process. We urge both sides to avoid taking actions which make peace more difficult to achieve.

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