§ Lord Hylton
asked Her Majesty's Government:
What plans and prospects they have for achieving:
- (a) the release by Israel of 155 Palestinian children detained under Emergency Regulations;
- (b) the resumption of studies for those enrolled at Bir Zeit University and other disrupted institutions; and
- (c) full access for the International Committee of the Red Cross to all parts of the West Bank and Gaza. [HL4209]
§ The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Baroness Amos)
(a) There are over 2,300 Palestinians held in detention facilities, of whom 465 are in administrative detention. We do not have exact figures for the number of minors detained. We are gravely concerned about the detention of large numbers of Palestinian civilians. We have raised our concerns at the highest level about the recent Israeli action in Palestinian-controlled areas. We take particular interest where minors are detained and have raised, and will continue to raise, specific cases with the Israeli Government.
(b) We are deeply concerned about the humanitarian and economic impact of closures, including the effect on educational institutions such as Beir Zeit University. These institutions are working hard to resume classes. We have expressed our serious concerns to the Israeli Government on political, legal and humanitarian grounds, and will continue to do so.
(c) We have repeatedly raised our concerns with the Israeli Prime Minister's office on the denial of access for humanitarian and medical agencies to those in need. We are providing practical support through our contributions to UNRWA (United Nations Relief and Works Agency). This year we are providing £25 million to UNRWA.