The UK government has expressed concern about Israel’s expulsion of Palestinians in occupied East Jerusalem, responding to a question from Labour MP Richard Burden.
In a question to the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Burden asked: “if he will make representations to the Israeli authorities on the forced eviction of 45 members of the Sabbagh family from their homes in the Sheikh Jarrah district of East Jerusalem”.
In an answer given by Alistair Burt on Thursday, the UK government stated that “we continue to be gravely concerned by the impact of demolitions and evictions on ordinary Palestinians and the viability of a future Palestinian state”.
According to the statement, the UK ambassador to Israel “raised our concerns about evictions in Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem with the Israeli authorities on 29 January”.
In addition, on 21 January, the UK Consul General in Jerusalem and other EU Heads of Mission “visited the home of the Sabbagh family”.
A follow-up EU statement cited by Burt “repeated its strong opposition to Israel’s settlement policy and related actions, including evictions and demolitions, and made clear how such measures were illegal under international law and continued to undermine the viability of a two-state solution”.
The statement concluded by noting that “in her intervention at the United Nations Security Council’s open debate on the Middle East on 22 January, the UK Permanent Representative to the UN encouraged Israel not to enforce the eviction notice”.