British Government’s Current Position:The treatment of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails

Question by Baroness Tonge (Independent) on 28th July 2020 (HL7480)

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they have made to the government of Israel about the Supreme Court of Israel’s ruling that prisoners in Gilboa prison have no right to social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic. (HL7480)

Answer from Baroness Sugg (Conservative) on 6th August 2020

We remain concerned by the impact that COVID-19 could have on prisoners and detainees. The British Embassy in Tel Aviv have a regular dialogue with Israel on legal issues relating to the occupation, including the treatment of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons. This includes the increased risk due to lack of hygiene, proper ventilation, population density and issues of due process. We continue to call for steps to be taken that will reduce the risk of COVID-19 spreading in prisons whilst simultaneously respecting fundamental human rights.

Q Asked by Lord Hylton on 07 January 2019

Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Israel: Palestinians. HL12582

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they are making to the government of Israel about that government’s decision to lower prison standards for Palestinian prisoners held in Israel; and what assessment they have made of the impact of those measures.

A Answered by: Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Conservative) on 21 January 2019

​Whilst we have not raised this specific issue with Israeli authorities, we have previously raised our concerns over the treatment of Palestinian prisoners, especially children, in Israeli detention and encourage for international standards to be upheld.

Q Asked by Lord Hylton: on: 30 October 2018

Foreign and Commonwealth Office: Khalida Jarrar . HL11128

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they have made representations to the government of Israel about the administrative detention imposed since July 2017 of Ms Khalida Jarrar, an elected member of the Palestinian Legislative Assembly; and if so, what response they received.

A Answered by: Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Conservative) 09 November 2018

We remain concerned about Israel’s extensive use of administrative detention. According to international law, this should be used only when security makes it absolutely necessary rather than as routine practice, and as a preventive rather than a punitive measure. We continue to call on the Israeli authorities to comply with their obligations under international law and either charge or release detainees.

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