The Bishop of Southwark received the following written answer on 11th October 2022:
The Lord Bishop of Southwark asked Her Majesty’s Government:
- what representations they have made to the government of Israel regarding a raid by the Israeli Defence Forces on St Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Ramallah on 18 August; and whether they have asked them to undertake an investigation into that incident.
- what representations they have made to the government of Israel regarding a raid by the Israeli Defence Forces on the offices of seven Palestinian civil society organisations in Ramallah on 18 August.
Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon: We believe the Israeli government’s decision to designate six Palestinian NGOs as terrorist organisations and the raids on their offices and on St Andrew’s Church in Ramallah are deeply troubling developments. Civil society organisations play an important role in upholding human rights and democracy, they must be able to operate freely in the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs). We continue to engage with a number of these organisations and the UK stands in solidarity with Christian communities in the OPTs. The UK remains committed to working with all parties across the Holy Land to ensure the safety and security of the holy sites and all who worship there, including Christians from all nations. During her recent visit to Israel and the OPTs in June 2022, the former Minister of State for Asia and the Middle East met with human rights defenders, journalists and civil society organisations to discuss the pressures they face in the region.