Please be assured that I take these issues very seriously, and I am extremely concerned about the plight of the Palestinians. I also remain extremely concerned about the behaviour of the current Government of Israel towards the Palestinians. Furthermore, I am a member of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Palestine and regularly attend briefings. I urgently want a solution and a just peace for all.
Support for international humanitarian law (IHL) is a fundamental element of the UK's foreign policy. As a country, we have a strong history of upholding and promoting IHL, and we consistently call on state and non-state actors alike to respect IHL and to act in accordance with their obligations under it. Indeed, the UK repeatedly calls on Israel to abide by its obligations under international law and regularly emphasises the importance of treating prisoners and detainees humanely and in accordance with IHL.
Nevertheless, the number of Palestinians who have been detained and imprisoned in the West Bank is concerning. Reports of Palestinians being imprisoned without a fair trial in contravention of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Israel is a signatory, is particularly concerning; as is the continued transfer of Palestinian child detainees to prisons inside Israel, in violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention. Our Embassy in Tel Aviv is in regular dialogue with Israel on this issue, and the UK also continues to fund projects providing legal aid to minors and capacity building to local lawyers.
It is for reasons such as the above that Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories remain a human rights priority for the FCDO. As befits this status, the UK will continue to monitor issues closely and raise them.
Finally, I share the concern raised about Ahmad Manasra. Arrested at just 13 years old for the alleged stabbing and injury of two Israeli citizens, Ahmad has been imprisoned for eight years and has been in solitary confinement since November 2021. HMG regularly calls on Israel to abide by its obligations under international law and has regular dialogue with Israel on legal issues relating to the occupation, including the treatment of Palestinian children. I know that the UK remains committed to working with Israel to secure improvements to the practices surrounding children in detention.