Human Rights and Democracy 2014-15

Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories

This is one of 27 human rights priority countries included in the latest annual FCO Human Rights Report. Updates are published on the GOV.UK website every six months to highlight key human rights events in these countries, and to report on actions that the UK has taken.

Comments on the main report or updates can be made below. They will be monitored and moderated by staff at the Human Rights and Democracy Department at the FCO who will also try and answer as many questions as possible.

Read this section of the report on GOV.UK

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

10 comments on “Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories

  1. J Hillman says:

    Did I miss it, but I could not find a condemnation of the loss of human rights of citizens of Israel (both Jewish and other faiths) by the vast number of potentially-lethal rockets fired from Gaza into civilian areas in Israel? Also I did not find condemnation of the excavation of the very large number of “terror” tunnels from Gaza into civilian areas in Israel, which serve only terrorist aims.

    1. FCO Human Rights says:

      The Report states UK condemnation of the intensive and indiscriminate rockets attacks on Israel by Hamas militant. It also makes clear our concern about continued breaches of human rights under Hamas, the de facto government in Gaza, particularly during the summer’s conflict, with reports of the use of human shields and extrajudicial executions.

      The UK Government position on attacks by Hamas militants on Israel is clear and for the public record as is the position on the building of tunnels for the purpose of terrorism. As Mr Ellwood, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, stated during a debate in Parliament on 25 February, ‘Last summer, Israelis lived in fear of indiscriminate rocket strikes and terror attacks. That is clearly not acceptable and we deplore the terrorist tactics of Hamas. The people of Israel have the right to live without constant fear for their security, just as the people of Gaza have the right to live safely in peace. We are deeply concerned by reports that militant groups within Gaza are re-arming and re-digging tunnels. That will not deliver peace to the people of Gaza. Only a durable ceasefire can offer that. The UK will do all that it can to support efforts towards that goal.’

  2. Felix King-Evans says:

    Now that Israeli Prime Minister has vowed to no Palestinian state under his watch what is the response by the UK Gov?

    1. FCO Human Rights says:

      We are concerned by some of the damaging rhetoric in recent days and the lack of progress towards resolving the Israel – Palestinian conflict. The Prime Minister spoke to Netanyahu following the election result; he reiterated that the UK continues to believe that a two-state solution is the best way to achieve a lasting peace. Both Israeli and Palestinian leaders must now demonstrate a clear commitment to the two state solution, if they do not, then both sides will face an uncertain and dangerous future.

  3. Mr S.Baines says:

    When the FCO Office say they are deeply concerned what does it mean. I am also deeply concerned about lots of issues, but there is not a great deal I can do about it. So the FCO is deep,ly concerned, so what are they going to do if Israel decides tomorrow they are going to annex all of the West Bank. How much more deeply concerned is the FCO going to be. If Iran did what Israel does, would you still be deeply concerned or would you be getting the British Army ready to invade Iran.like you did in Iraq.

    1. FCO Human Rights says:

      We fully recognise the strength of feeling about the Israel – Palestinian conflict among many people in Britain and the frustration at the lack of progress towards resolving the dispute. The UK continues give its full support the Middle East Peace Process and this continues to be one of our principal foreign policy priorities. Both Israeli and Palestinian leaders must now demonstrate a clear commitment to the two state solution in action, as well as words. If they do not, then both sides will face an uncertain and dangerous future.

      We have been clear that our levers are limited. But given the high political, human and material costs of conflict, the UK stands ready to do all it can to support progress towards a two state solution that delivers an end to the occupation and an end to violence. The UK will continue to engage with key partners to consider how best to support the parties in resuming serious dialogue.

  4. Jonathan Shamir says:

    I was concerned about the omission of report of LGBT rights in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank

    1. FCO Human Rights says:

      We agree that the lack of LGB&T rights in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank is an area of concern. Given its broad scope, we are unable to use the Annual Human Rights Report to list every abuse of human rights, therefore we must limit our focus to key areas of concern and how we seek to use our influence and expertise to make a difference. Work in combating violence and discrimination against LGB&T persons forms an important part of our wider international human rights work. All of our embassies, high commissions and consulates have a responsibility to monitor and raise any human rights issue, including LGB&T rights, in their host countries.

  5. Keith Durham says:

    Why are paragraphs that reflect negatively on Hamas repeated? It also appears that negative statements against Israel have to be complimented by similar against Hamas. Should these not be separate reports?This looks like political correctness, in the end no real action will be taken against Israel.

    1. FCO Human Rights says:

      Repeated paragraphs in the report are an editing error and should only appear once in each instance.

      The report covers Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories in one assessment to reflect that the UK, along with many other countries, believes that Israel has legal obligations as an Occupying Power with respect to the OPTs under applicable international law, including the Fourth Geneva Convention. We have been continually clear that we have concerns of the conduct of the occupation. We have a regular dialogue with Government of Israel regarding the implementation of their obligations.

      Nevertheless we also have deep concerns regarding breeches of human rights, under Hamas, the de facto Government, in Gaza, including decreasing freedoms of religion or belief and the suppression of women’s rights. Our policy on Hamas is clear: Hamas must renounce violence, recognise Israel and accept previously signed agreements. Whilst we retain a policy of no contact with Hamas, we call on those in the region with influence to encourage Hamas to take these steps.

      Given its broad scope, we are unable to use the Annual Human Rights Report to list every abuse of human rights, therefore we must limit our focus to key areas of concern.