British Government’s Current Position: Forced evictions of Palestinians

Question: by Baroness Tonge (Independent)

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of reports that Israel’s Supreme Court is allowing the demolition of 60 buildings housing 500 Palestinian families in Silwan, East Jerusalem

Answer: Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Conservative) on 13th May 2019  (HL15442)

On 26 April the EU issued a statement, on behalf of the UK and other EU Member States, requesting that Israel reconsider the pending demolition orders in Silwan. We continue to be gravely concerned by the impact of demolitions and evictions on ordinary Palestinians and the impact this has on the viability of a future Palestinian state. Demolitions and evictions of Palestinians from their homes cause unnecessary suffering to ordinary Palestinians; call into question Israel’s commitment to a viable two-state solution; and, in all but the most exceptional of cases, are contrary to International Humanitarian Law. We fund a number of projects to monitor and report on settlement expansion in East Jerusalem and the West Bank and to protect vulnerable Palestinian communities from the effects of settlement expansion.

Q Asked by Mrs Anne Main: (Conservative, St Albans) on: 18 December 2018

Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Israel: Palestinians, 203256

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations he has made to his Israeli counterpart on the Government of Israel (a) ending forcible transfer in its planning policies and (b) amending planning legislation to ensure planning and construction rights for Palestinian residents in the West Bank and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

A Answered by: Alistair Burt (Conservative) on 28 December 2018

​The UK is gravely concerned by Israeli proposals to relocate Palestinian and Bedouin populations, which the UN has said could constitute forcible transfer. We have been clear about our grave concerns with the Israeli authorities and we regularly raise the matter through our Embassy in Tel Aviv. We recognise that Palestinians face severe difficulty in securing building permissions for homes and infrastructure in East Jerusalem and Area C. We continue to urge the Israeli authorities to develop improved mechanisms for zoning, planning and permitting in Area C for the benefit of the Palestinian population, including by facilitating local Palestinian participation in such processes.

Q Asked by Baroness Tonge (Independent) on 27 November 2018

Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Jerusalem: Evictions. HL11868

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they have made to the government of Israel about the number of evictions of Palestinians from their homes in East Jerusalem to make way for Jewish settlers.

A Answered by: Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Conservative) on 10 December 2018

We regularly make clear our serious concerns about the situation in East Jerusalem to the Israeli authorities and the Municipality of Jerusalem, both bilaterally and in co-operation with EU partners. These concerns include: the evictions of Palestinians and demolition of Palestinian property; the construction of illegal Israeli settlements; removal of residency rights from Palestinians; possible unilateral changes to the municipal borders; and severe difficulties of access to Jerusalem for Palestinians from the West Bank, or for those residents of Jerusalem who live beyond the Separation Barrier. The EU issued a statement on 24 November raising concerns over this issue.

Q Asked by Baroness Tonge (Independent) on 12 December 2018

Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Jerusalem: Evictions. HL12272

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they have made to the government of Israel about plans to evict residents of the villages of Silwan and Batn al-Hawa in East Jerusalem following the decision by the Israeli High Court of Justice to refuse those residents’ petition and instead refer that petition to the Jerusalem Magistrates Court.

A Answered by: Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Conservative) on 21 December 2018

We regularly make clear our serious concerns about the situation in East Jerusalem to the Israeli authorities, both bilaterally and in co-operation with EU partners. We supported an EU statement on 24 November raising concerns over recent developments which could lead to the eviction of Palestinians from Silwan. Officials from our Consulate-General in Jerusalem and Embassy in Tel Aviv routinely meet Palestinians at risk of eviction from their homes, most recently visiting families in the East Jerusalem neighbourhoods of Sheikh Jarrah and Batn al-Hawa on 13 December.

Q Asked by Louise Haigh: (Labour, Sheffield, Heeley) on: 10 January 2019

Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Israel: West Bank. 207316

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent representations he has made to his Israeli counterpart on the (a) forceable removal of shepherding families in Ibzik, in the Jordan Valley (b) destruction of those communities’ land by large-scale tank manoeuvres and (c) demolition of a school classroom serving those communities.

A Answered by: Alistair Burt (Conservative) on 18 January 2019

Whist we have not raised these specific issues, we regularly make clear our serious concerns about the situation in the Occupied Palestinian Territories to the Israeli authorities, both bilaterally and in co-operation with EU partners. These concerns include the evictions of Palestinians and demolition of Palestinian property, which cause unnecessary suffering to ordinary Palestinians, calls into question Israel’s commitment to a viable two-state solution, and, in all but the most exceptional cases, are contrary to International Humanitarian Law.

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