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

Question by Louise Haigh (Labour) on 2nd February 2021 (UIN 147928)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Affairs, what steps the Government is taking to support (a) Issa Amro and (b) other human rights defenders that have been convicted and imprisoned by an Israeli military court.

Answer from James Cleverly (Conservative) on 10th February 2021

Officials from our Consulate-General in Jerusalem attended Mr Amro’s court hearing on 6 January. We continue to urge the Israeli Government to fully respect the fundamental rights and freedoms of human rights defenders and organisations. We have also raised concerns with the Palestinian Authority about the narrowing of space for civil society to operate in the West Bank.

Question by Baroness Tonge (Independent) on 25 January 2021 (HL 12562)

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the letter from Lawyers for Palestinian Human Rights to the Minister of State for the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, sent on 19 January, regarding the withholding of the body of Ahmed Erekat, what representations they have made to the government of Israel about the release of Ahmed Erekat’s body; and what plans they have (1) to seek assurances from that government about, and (2) to monitor, a criminal investigation into the killing of Ahmed Erekat.

Answer from Lord Ahmad (Conservative) on 8th February 2021

We are aware of the case of Ahmed Erekat, and reports of a High Court petition for the release of Mr Erekat’s body. We understand the Israeli security cabinet have ruled that it would not allow the return of bodies of Palestinians held by Israeli Security Forces (ISF). While we have not raised the case, we will continue to monitor the situation. The UK position is clear: we urge all sides to treat the dead with respect and urge Israel to return any bodies they are holding. We regularly raise the issue of the high numbers of Palestinians killed and injured by Israel Defense Forces in the West Bank and Gaza with the Israeli authorities, encouraging them to carry out transparent investigations into whether use of live fire had been appropriate.

Question by Baroness Tonge (Independent) on 11th January 2021 (HL12017)

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the conviction of Issa Amro by a military court in Israel.

Answer from Lord Ahmed (Conservative) on 25th January 2021

Officials from our Consulate-General in Jerusalem attended Mr Amro’s court hearing on 6 January. The UK remains concerned about the challenges facing human rights defenders and human rights organisations operating in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. We continue to urge the Israeli Government to fully respect the fundamental rights and freedoms of human rights defenders and organisations. We have also raised concerns with the Palestinian Authority about the narrowing of space for civil society to operate in the West Bank.

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.

This entry was posted in Current Positions. Bookmark the permalink.