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25 Mar 2008 : Column 137Wcontinued
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (1) what steps he (a) has taken and (b) plans to take at the United Nations on the compliance of Hamas with international law in Gaza; and if he will make a statement; 
(2) what steps he (a) has taken and (b) plans to take at the United Nations on the use by Hamas of human shields in Gaza; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Howells: The UN Security Council has held a number of meetings on this issue in recent weeks during which the UK has reiterated its condemnation of the firing of rockets by Hamas against civilian areas in southern Israel, from civilian areas in Gaza. While we will continue to make our views clear, we are not planning to take specific action. On 4 March, my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary discussed the situation in Gaza with the UN Secretary-General.
A number of UN Security Council Resolutions on Israel/Occupied Palestinian Territories call on the Palestinians to end terrorism and stress the need to respect international humanitarian law.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent discussions (a) he, (b) Ministers and (c) officials in his Department have had with (i) Arab states and (ii) the government of Israel on (A) the compliance of Hamas with international law in Gaza and (B) the use by Hamas of human shields in Gaza; what response was received from each; and if he will make a statement. 
Dr. Howells: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary, Foreign and Commonwealth officials and I regularly discuss issues connected with the Middle East Peace Process with counterparts and senior government figures and officials in the region. The Government have made their position on Hamas, its policies and its activities clear. The international community continues to urge Hamas to renounce violence, recognise Israel and accept existing agreements and obligations, including the Roadmap. As such, Hamas compliance with international law has not been part of the discussions.
Mr. Breed: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received of the action taken against Rev Bedali Hulu in Indonesia; and if he will make a statement. 
Meg Munn: We are aware of reports of attacks against the house of Reverend Bedali Hulu and the difficulties facing his congregation from the Jakarta Christian Baptist Church. Christians in Indonesia, in general, enjoy a high degree of religious freedom. Their right to worship is protected under the Indonesian constitution. Regrettably there are sporadic incidents of inter-religious violence in certain areas. We continue to call for religious tolerance across Indonesia.
Mr. Amess: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what discussions (a) he, (b) Ministers in his Department and (c) officials have had with the Governments of (i) Malta and (ii) Poland on their dissent from the line adopted by the European Union on reproductive health at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women meeting in New York; and if he will make a statement. 
Mr. Jim Murphy: My right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary and Foreign and Commonwealth Office Ministers have had no direct contact with their Maltese and Polish counterparts during the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) meeting in New York. During the CSW UK officials spoke alongside a number of other EU partners to defend language that has previously been agreed by the EU on sexual and reproductive health rights.