The British Government’s current position on Israel and Palestine: Recognition of Palestine as a state

Question by Baroness Janke (Lib Dem) on 18th May 2021 (HL351)

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what are the criteria necessary for them to recognise Palestine as a State.

Answer from Lord Ahmad (conservative on 2nd June 2021

The UK will recognise a Palestinian state at a time when it best serves the objective of peace. Bilateral recognition in itself cannot end the occupation. Without a negotiated settlement the occupation and the problems that come with it will continue. We continue to work closely with international partners to strongly advocate for a two-state solution and encourage a return to meaningful negotiations between both parties.

Question by Baroness Sheehan (Lib Dem) on 26th May 2021 (HL636)

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of (1) the sustainability of their position in support of a two state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and (2) the impact on that sustainability of recognising Palestine as a state.

Answer from Lord Ahmad (Conservative) on 10th June 2021

The Foreign Secretary visited Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories on 25 and 26 May. During his visit the Foreign Secretary met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and reiterated the UK’s firm commitment to the two-state solution as the best way to permanently end the occupation, deliver Palestinian self-determination and preserve Israel’s security and democratic identity.

The UK will recognise a Palestinian state at a time when it best serves the objective of peace. Bilateral recognition in itself cannot end the occupation. Without a negotiated settlement the occupation and the problems that come with it will continue. We continue to work closely with international partners to advocate for a two-state solution and encourage a return to meaningful negotiations between both parties.

Question by Baroness Tonge (Independent) on 21st September 2020 (HL8342)

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what recent steps they have taken to ensure that the Balfour Declaration is upheld, and in particular, the statement that “nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine”.

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

Israel is a thriving democracy with a long-standing commitment to equality for all. Defending Freedom of Religion or Belief, and championing human rights, is a policy priority for the UK. We encourage the Israeli Government to do all it can to uphold the values of equality for all enshrined in its laws.

Question by Baroness Tonge (Independent) on 2nd June 2020 HL5129

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon on 19 May (HL3850), what (1) conditions they require to have been met before they recognise Palestine as a state; and (2) what steps they are taking to support Palestine to meet those conditions. (HL5129)

Answer from Lord Ahmad (Conservative) in 9th June 2020

As I made clear in my answer of 19 May 2020 (HL3850), the UK will recognise a Palestinian state at a time when it best serves the objective of peace. Bilateral recognition in itself cannot end the occupation. Without a negotiated settlement the occupation and the problems that come with it will continue. The UK will continue to support a negotiated settlement leading to a safe and secure Israel living alongside a viable and sovereign Palestinian state.

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