Baroness Tonge – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Baroness Tonge on 2016-02-10.

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what representations they have made to the government of Israel about allowing Mohammed Al -Qeeq to transfer to a hospital in Ramallah from Afula Hospital; and what further representations they plan to make concerning the use of torture in Israeli prisons.

Baroness Anelay of St Johns

While we have not made any representations on this specific case, officials from our Embassy in Tel Aviv are following this case and those of the other hunger strikers closely and have spoken to Amnesty International about them. Officials from our Consulate General in Jerusalem maintain a dialogue with the relevant Palestinian organisations about the condition of the hunger strikers. The EU in Jerusalem recently issued a local statement on administrative detentions, including the case of Mr Al Qeeq. We have been informed that Mr al-Qeeq is in a stable condition and has not been forced-fed as alleged.

We remain concerned about Israel’s extensive use of administrative detention which, according to international law, should be used only when security makes this absolutely necessary rather than as routine practice, and as a preventive rather than a punitive measure. We also have concerns about mistreatment of Palestinian detainees and about Israel’s respect of its obligations in this regard as an Occupying Power under applicable international law. We have raised concerns over treatment of Palestinian detainees with the Israeli authorities on many occasions, including at Foreign Minister, Attorney General and National Security Adviser levels.