Written questions and answers

Written questions allow Members of Parliament to ask government ministers for information on the work, policy and activities of government departments.

Historical written answers can be found in Hansard.

Find the latest written questions and answers for the 2016-17 session below. We welcome your feedback on this service.

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UIN

Unique Identifying Number – Every written question in the House of Commons has a UIN per Parliament. In the House of Lords each written questions has a UIN per parliamentary session.
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Q
Asked by Tom Brake
(Carshalton and Wallington)
Asked on: 15 March 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Israel and Palestinians: Construction
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations the Government has made to the Israeli Government on the disparity in the allocation of resources for building infrastructure in the Israeli settlements and Palestinian villages.
A
Answered by: Mr Tobias Ellwood
Answered on: 23 March 2017

While we have not raised this specific issue, we have repeatedly made clear to the Israeli authorities our serious concerns on the need for a planning process that adequately addresses the needs of Palestinian communities.

Q
Asked by Tom Brake
(Carshalton and Wallington)
Asked on: 06 March 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Israeli Settlements
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, whether the Prime Minister raised the Land Regularisation Bill during his recent discussions with Prime Minister Netanyahu.
A
Answered by: Mr Tobias Ellwood
Answered on: 14 March 2017

​I issued a statement on 7 February condemning the land regularisation law. We are gravely concerned by the law, which will retroactively legalise 53 outposts and pave the way for significant growth in settlements deep in the West Bank, threatening the viability of the two-state solution. The Prime Minister, my Rt Hon. Friend the Member for Maidenhead (Mrs May) and the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, my Rt Hon. Friend the Member for Uxbridge and South Ruislip (Mr Johnson) both expressed their grave concerns about settlements and the land regularisation law when they met Prime Minister Netanyahu in London on Monday 6 February.

Q
Asked by Tom Brake
(Carshalton and Wallington)
Asked on: 26 January 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Israel: Bedouin
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent representations he has made to the Israeli authorities as a result of the demolition of Umm al-Hiran.
A
Answered by: Mr Tobias Ellwood
Answered on: 02 February 2017

​We have highlighted the significant interest in this issue in the UK with the Israeli authorities, and called on the Israeli authorities and Bedouin community to work together to find a solution that meets the needs and respects the rights of the people affected. This should include a robust planning process that adequately consults and addresses the needs of Israel’s Bedouin communities.

Q
Asked by Tom Brake
(Carshalton and Wallington)
Asked on: 10 January 2017
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Israel: Palestinians
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will attend the Paris conference on Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories in January 2017.
A
Answered by: Mr Tobias Ellwood
Answered on: 17 January 2017

The UK decided to attend the Paris Conference only as an observer and, in that capacity, we did not sign up to the Communiqué. Britain welcomes France's efforts to promote peace but we have been clear for some time that a conference so close to the change of US administration, and without the attendance of the two main parties, would not be the best way to make real progress on this complex issue.

Q
Asked by Tom Brake
(Carshalton and Wallington)
Asked on: 10 October 2016
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Israel: Housing
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what representations his Department has received on the compatibility with (a) Article 49 of the Fourth Geneva Convention and (b) other elements of international law of the Israeli Supreme Court's rejections of cases where demolition orders have been contested; and if he will make a statement.
A
Answered by: Mr Tobias Ellwood
Answered on: 18 October 2016

​While we have not received any representations on these specific issues, we have repeatedly raised our opposition to demolitions with the Israeli authorities and have urged them to provide a legal route for Palestinian construction. On 7 September, during a meeting with Israeli Defence Minister Lieberman in London, I raised our concerns about demolitions.

Q
Asked by Tom Brake
(Carshalton and Wallington)
Asked on: 07 October 2016
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Israel: Palestinians
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent representations he has made to the Israeli authorities on the demolition of structures inhabited by Palestinians in the West Bank.
A
Answered by: Mr Tobias Ellwood
Answered on: 17 October 2016

​On 7 September, during a meeting with Israeli Defence Minister Lieberman in London, I raised our concerns about demolitions. Our Embassy in Tel Aviv also regularly raise our concerns on this issue with the Israeli authorities.

Q
Asked by Tom Brake
(Carshalton and Wallington)
Asked on: 07 October 2016
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Israel: Palestinians
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what estimate the Government has made of the number of structures in the West Bank funded through EU aid projects that have been demolished by Israeli forces; and what the cost of their reconstruction will be.
A
Answered by: Mr Tobias Ellwood
Answered on: 17 October 2016

​While we have not made any estimate on the number of EU-funded structures that have been demolished in the West Bank, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) database on demolitions in the West Bank, 271 donor-funded structures have been demolished since the beginning of the year up to 11 June. OCHA measure demolitions of donor-funded structures, we do not know how many of these are EU funded. We have not made any estimates of the costs of reconstruction.

Q
Asked by Tom Brake
(Carshalton and Wallington)
Asked on: 07 October 2016
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Israel: Palestinians
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions he has had with the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions on the demolition of Palestinian homes.
A
Answered by: Mr Tobias Ellwood
Answered on: 17 October 2016

​We have not had any discussions with the Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions.

Q
Asked by Tom Brake
(Carshalton and Wallington)
Asked on: 07 October 2016
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Israel: Palestinians
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what information his Department holds on the (a) number of Palestinians affected by the demolition over separate locations on 27 September 2016 of structures in the West Bank and (b) potential cost of the reconstruction of those structures.
A
Answered by: Mr Tobias Ellwood
Answered on: 17 October 2016

​We do not hold the information requested.

Q
Asked by Tom Brake
(Carshalton and Wallington)
Asked on: 10 October 2016
Department for International Development
West Bank: Water Supply
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what assessment she has made of the effect of restrictions of water supplies on the humanitarian situation in the West Bank.
A
Answered by: Rory Stewart
Answered on: 17 October 2016

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs assessed in November 2015 that 400,000 people in the West Bank required humanitarian water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) assistance. UK officials are in regular dialogue with Israel, the Palestinian Authority, the UN, World Bank, EU and other development actors on this issue.

DFID is funding UNICEF to lead on developing and updating the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs) WASH Sector Contingency Plan at the national level. This brings together the Palestinian Water Authority and other partners to monitor the water situation in the OPTs and ensure preparedness and effective response in case of an emergency.

Q
Asked by Tom Brake
(Carshalton and Wallington)
Asked on: 07 October 2016
Department for International Development
West Bank: Water Supply
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what recent representations she has made to the Israeli authorities on the effect on the Palestinians in the West Bank of restricting water supplies.
A
Answered by: Rory Stewart
Answered on: 14 October 2016

The UK regularly raises the issue of water in the Occupied Palestinian Territories with the Israeli authorities, most recently on 8 September. We continue to stress the urgent need for Israel to take immediate and practical measures to improve the current situation and ensure fair distribution of water in the West Bank and Gaza.

We encourage both parties to find a swift resolution to this issue and to reconvene the Joint Water Committee to facilitate approval of projects that will improve Palestinian access to water. We see continuity of supply to the West Bank as essential for both the basic needs of Palestinians and for stability and security more widely.

Q
Asked by Tom Brake
(Carshalton and Wallington)
Asked on: 07 October 2016
Department for International Development
Palestinians: Overseas Aid
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what support her Department is giving to Palestinians displaced by Israeli settlement building and the demolition of Palestinian homes.
A
Answered by: Rory Stewart
Answered on: 14 October 2016

The UK remains extremely concerned about continued Israeli settlement expansion and the large increase in demolitions in the Occupied Palestinian Territories since the start of 2016, compared to the monthly average in 2015. We continue to raise these issues with the Israeli authorities. Demolitions and the evictions of Palestinians from their homes cause unnecessary suffering, are harmful to the peace process, and in all but the most exceptional of cases are contrary to international humanitarian law.

The UK supports Palestinians facing demolition or eviction and displacement by funding a legal aid programme to help individuals and communities challenge these decisions in the Israeli legal system.

Q
Asked by Tom Brake
(Carshalton and Wallington)
Asked on: 07 October 2016
Department for International Development
Israel: Palestinians
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, how many of the structures in the West Bank funded through aid provided by her Department have been demolished by Israeli forces in 2016 to date.
A
Answered by: Rory Stewart
Answered on: 14 October 2016

No structures that the UK has funded bilaterally in the West Bank have been demolished. A number of structures funded by the EU’s Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection Office (ECHO) have been demolished in recent months.

Q
Asked by Tom Brake
(Carshalton and Wallington)
Asked on: 04 July 2016
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Israel: Palestinians
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what discussions the Government has had with the French government on Israel and Palestine since the conference organised by the French government.
A
Answered by: Mr Tobias Ellwood
Answered on: 12 July 2016

The Foreign Secretary, my Rt Hon. Friend the Member for Runnymede and Weybridge (Mr Hammond), discussed Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories with French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault on 7 June. During this meeting, they agreed to stay in close contact about the French government’s plans to follow up on their 3 June ministerial meeting. Foreign Office officials have since been in contact with their French counterparts.

Q
Asked by Tom Brake
(Carshalton and Wallington)
Asked on: 15 June 2016
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Palestinians: Recognition of States
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what the criteria are for the Government to recognise a Palestinian state.
A
Answered by: Mr Tobias Ellwood
Answered on: 27 June 2016

The UK’s position on recognition of Palestine is that we will recognise a Palestinian state when we judge it can best help bring about peace. We continue to be one of the principal supporters of Palestinian state building efforts, assisting them to tackle poverty, build institutions and boost their economy.

Q
Asked by Tom Brake
(Carshalton and Wallington)
Asked on: 07 June 2016
Foreign and Commonwealth Office
Israel: Human Rights
Commons
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, if he will hold discussions with his EU counterparts on the compatibility of recent sentencing decisions by the Israeli judiciary with the human rights standards set in the EU-Israeli Association Agreement.
A
Answered by: Mr Tobias Ellwood
Answered on: 14 June 2016

We have no plans to hold such discussions.

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