On 2nd December 2013, the Bishop of Worcester received answers to three written questions related to the situation in the West Bank.
The Lord Bishop of Worcester: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what steps they are taking to address impediments to the delivery of humanitarian assistance in the West Bank such as the confiscation of humanitarian aid and the prevention of access to communities in need of emergency assistance.
Baroness Northover: We are concerned at reports that the Israeli military authorities have blocked the delivery of humanitarian assistance to Palestinian communities in Area C of the West Bank. Where humanitarian aid is needed, Israel is obliged under international humanitarian law to facilitate the work of humanitarian relief schemes. Our Embassy in Tel Aviv has raised this issue with the Israeli National Security Adviser and the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Lord Bishop of Worcester: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what conversations they have had with other European Union governments regarding the development of a co-ordinated European Union response mechanism to address the demolition of European Union-funded infrastructure projects in the West Bank.
The Senior Minister of State, Department for Communities and Local Government & Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Warsi): The British Consulate General in Jerusalem has regular discussions with a number of our European partners on the issue of demolitions of Palestinian properties in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Those discussions are focussed on how to prevent demolitions, including through lobbying of the Israeli authorities and by supporting improvements in the planning regime.
The Lord Bishop of Worcester: To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they have made to the government of Israel following the decision of 3 November to authorise tenders for construction of settlement units in East Jerusalem and the West Bank.
Baroness Warsi: The Minister of State, my Rt. Hon. Friend the Member for Faversham and Mid Kent (Mr Robertson) raised the issue of settlements with the Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister during his recent visit to Israel from 4-5 November.