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Written Question
Iran: Palestinians
24 Mar 2020

Questioner: Lord Polak

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the government of Iran's (1) involvement in, and (2) policy of, encouraging peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

Answer (Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon)

Iran continues to support a number of militant and proscribed groups in the region, such as Hezbollah, Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad, and Palestinian rejectionist groups. This support is concerning, and directly undermines prospects for regional security and lasting peace in the region. We are clear that we want to see the creation of a sovereign, independent and viable Palestinian state - living in peace and security, side by side with Israel. We will continue to work with likeminded partners to advance the Middle East Peace Process, countering those who embrace violence.


Written Question
Iran: Palestinian Islamic Jihad
18 Mar 2020

Questioner: Lord Polak

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the government of Iran's support for the Palestinian Islamic Jihad group, which fired missiles into Israel in February.

Answer (Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon)

We remain deeply concerned by Iran's support to a number of militant and proscribed groups in the region, including Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ). This support directly undermines prospects for regional security and lasting peace in the region. The UK notes with concern the recent escalation in Gaza, including indiscriminate rocket fire which places civilians at risk. Any attacks targeted against civilians are unlawful and unjustifiable. We call on all sides to maintain calm. We have been clear about the dangers of further escalation. A regional conflict is in no one's interest. We will continue to work with international partners to support stability in the region.


Written Question
Iran: Palestinian Islamic Jihad
18 Mar 2020

Questioner: Lord Polak

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they have taken to ensure that the government of Iran's support for the Palestinian Islamic Jihad group does not jeopardise negotiations for a permanent peace between Israel and Hamas.

Answer (Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon)

We remain deeply concerned by Iran's support to a number of militant and proscribed groups in the region, including Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ). This support directly undermines prospects for regional security and lasting peace in the region. Longer term, we encourage relevant parties to put forward sustainable proposals to resolve the threat posed to Israel's security by Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and other militants in Gaza. Misrule is leading to dreadful consequences for the people of Gaza and also of Israel. The perpetual cycle of violence does not serve anyone's interests, and must end.


Written Question
UNRWA
9 Sep 2019

Questioner: Lord Polak

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of whether the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East's mandate is aligned with their commitment to a two-state solution for an end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; and what steps they will take to ensure that alignment if necessary.

Answer (Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon)

UNRWA is a necessary humanitarian and stabilising force in the region, providing vital services to millions of Palestinian refugees every day. The UK recognises UNRWA’s unique mandate from the UN General Assembly, to protect and provide essential health and education services to Palestinian registered refugees across the Middle East. We accompany our support to UNRWA with stringent attention to neutrality and values of peace and remain in close contact with UNRWA’s senior management to monitor and drive progress on essential reforms.


Written Question
UNRWA
15 Apr 2019

Questioner: Lord Polak

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the sustainability of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees’ working definition of a Palestinian refugee.

Answer (Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon)

​The UK recognises the United Nations Relief and Works Agency's (UNRWA) unique mandate from the UN General Assembly, to protect and provide essential services to Palestinian refugees across the Middle East. The UK is clear that the status of Palestinian refugees is a final status issue, and must be agreed as part of wider peace negotiations. Accordingly the UK has not made an assessment of the sustainability of the UNRWA's working definition of a Palestinian refugee.


Written Question
UNRWA
15 Apr 2019

Questioner: Lord Polak

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees about its working definition of a refugee.

Answer (Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon)

​The UK is clear that the status of Palestinian refugees is a final status issue, and must be agreed as part of wider peace negotiations. Accordingly the UK has not made representations to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) regarding its working definition of a Palestinian refugee. The UK remains a firmly committed supporter of UNRWA, and Palestinian refugees across the Middle East, and we will do everything we can to maintain continuity of essential services at this time.


Written Question
Palestinians: Public Sector
10 Apr 2019

Questioner: Lord Polak

Question

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the Palestinian Authority’s ability to deliver public services within the Palestinian Territories.

Answer (Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon)

The UK is committed to the objective of a sovereign and prosperous Palestinian state, living side by side with a safe and secure Israel. That is why we are a key donor to the Palestinian Authority (PA) and why we have put such emphasis on strengthening Palestinian institutions and fostering private sector-led, sustainable economic growth in the West Bank. The UK is concerned about the effects of US and Israeli cuts to the PA's budget on both the PA's ability to deliver essential services to Palestinians and on the prospects for peace and stability in the region. We are also concerned by the PA's decision to not accept reduced clearance revenues from Israel. The PA needs to be financially sustainable to ensure stability, deliver services to Palestinians, and to fulfil its responsibilities under the Oslo Accords. UK aid helps to ensure the PA's financial stability. In 2018/19 UK aid to the PA helped to pay the salaries of 37,600 teachers, doctors, nurses, midwives and other health and education public servants. No UK aid is used for payments to Palestinian prisoners or their families.


Written Question
Yesh Din: Grants
30 Mar 2017

Questioner: Lord Polak

Question

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment has been made of the value for money to the UK taxpayer of the 690,189 shekels (£154,000) grant given to Yesh Din in 2016.

Answer (Baroness Anelay of St Johns)

Each project funded by the UK is in line with British Government policy. The money allocated to Yesh Din supported our objective of preserving the viability of a two-state solution.


Written Question
Israel: Gaza
30 Mar 2017

Questioner: Lord Polak

Question

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of reports of renewed construction of tunnels into Israel by Hamas; and of the impact of those tunnels on progress towards a two-state solution.

Answer (Baroness Anelay of St Johns)

We remain deeply concerned by Hamas attempts to rearm and rebuild militant infrastructure, including the tunnel network in Gaza. Hamas rearmament undermines efforts to improve the situation in Gaza and harms the prospects for peace and stability in the Middle East.


Written Question
Palestinians: Youth Services
20 Apr 2016

Questioner: Lord Polak

Question

To ask Her Majesty’s Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Anelay of St Johns on 10 March (HL6654), what projects are delivered by Burj Al Luqluq Youth Centre and Silwan Youth Centre that are funded through the Bilateral Programme Budget.

Answer (Baroness Anelay of St Johns)

The Bilateral Programme Budget funded two projects run by the Burj Al Luqluq and Silwan Youth Centres, both of which were completed in March 2016.

The Burj Al Luqluq project built the capacity of Palestinian youth in East Jerusalem to become positive and active leaders in their communities. The project worked with 50 participants, male and female, who received training in communication, leadership and photography skills. They developed their employability and strengthened their national and cultural identities.

The Silwan project provided Information technology and other equipment to create a safe environment for children and adults to conduct homework and research.


Written Question
Israel: Save a Child's Heart
10 Mar 2016

Questioner: Lord Polak

Question

To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they are aware of the work of Save a Child's Heart in Holon, Israel, and whether they have any plans to support Save a Child's Heart in Israel in particular by providing it with financial assistance.

Answer (Baroness Anelay of St Johns)

Our Embassy in Tel Aviv is aware of the work of Save a Child’s Heart. They do not currently have plans to provide financial assistance to this charity but have provided funding in the past, and hosted an event for the charity at the Ambassador's Residence.


Written Question
Israel: Third Sector
10 Mar 2016

Questioner: Lord Polak

Question

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what financial assistance they provide to charities and NGOs in Israel.

Answer (Baroness Anelay of St Johns)

We currently supply funding for projects delivered by twelve non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (including East Jerusalem); ten through the Conflict Stability and Security Fund and two through the Bilateral Programme Budget. The following ten Israeli NGOs deliver projects through the Conflict Stability and Security Fund: The Peres Centre for Peace; Injaz - Centre for Professional Arab Local Governance; Kids Creating Peace; Yesh Din; Gisha; Peace Now; Terrestrial Jerusalem; The International Peace and Cooperation Centre; Rabbis for Human Rights; and the Jerusalem Community Advocacy Network. We also fund projects delivered by the following NGOs through the Bilateral Programme Budget: Burj Al Luqluq Youth Centre and Silwan Youth Centre.
Written Question
Israel: Palestinians
19 Jan 2016

Questioner: Lord Polak

Question

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what recent representations they have made to the Palestinian Authority over reports that it has provided millions in monthly salaries to convicted Palestinian terrorists serving sentences in Israeli jails.

Answer (Baroness Anelay of St Johns)

The UK regularly raises the issue of prisoner payments with the Palestinian Authority (PA). The Minister of State for International Development, my right hon. Friend the Member for New Forest West (Mr Swayne) raised the matter with PA Finance Minister Bishara during his visit to the Occupied Palestinian Territories in August 2014. No UK money is used for payments to Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, or their families. The UK’s direct financial assistance to the PA is used to pay the salaries of public sector workers only.
Written Question
Israel: Palestinians
19 Jan 2016

Questioner: Lord Polak

Question

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they have made to the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Health following its description of Nashat Milhem as "one of the dearest Martyrs, and his name is engraved with his pure blood, which watered the ground of our free land".

Answer (Baroness Anelay of St Johns)

We have not raised this specific issue with the Palestinian Authority. Since the start of the current violence we have spoken regularly to both the Israeli government and the Palestinian Authority, urging them to use their influence to de-escalate the tensions. We continue to support the reinstatement of the Tripartite Committee as the appropriate channel to deal with allegations of incitement from either side.
Written Question
Israel: Palestinians
19 Jan 2016

Questioner: Lord Polak

Question

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they have made to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas over recent reports that he said that violence by Palestinians constitutes a "justified popular uprising".

Answer (Baroness Anelay of St Johns)

Our Deputy Consul General to Jerusalem raised this issue with President Abbas's Diplomatic Adviser, Majdi Khaldi, on 17 December. Mr Khaldi informed us that President Abbas condemned violence against Israelis and Palestinians.