Palestinians: Visa Scheme — [Martin Vickers in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall am 7:01 pm ar 13 Mai 2024.

Danfonwch hysbysiad imi am ddadleuon fel hyn

Photo of Tom Pursglove Tom Pursglove Minister of State (Minister for Legal Migration and Delivery) 7:01, 13 Mai 2024

I would argue that the principal, most important thing is to have a durable ceasefire that brings an end to the hostilities, and one that is durable in the long term. That is the best outcome for everybody in the region, but the House will recognise why that is impossible with Hamas in charge in Gaza. We continue, as a Government, to make these arguments, and we will continue to make the argument that it is imperative that that aid is able to flow in order to properly support people.

Let me turn to the substance of this debate. It is the case that we are assisting British nationals and other eligible people to leave Gaza, liaising closely with the Israeli and Egyptian authorities. However, we do not control the Rafah border crossing, and it is the Israeli and Egyptian authorities that make the final decisions on who can exit Gaza. We are aware of the unique circumstances affecting those who would like to exit Gaza, and the unusual role of foreign Governments in seeking permission to leave on behalf of individuals. The FCDO has, therefore, been able to facilitate the departure from Gaza to Egypt of Palestinians who have both strong links to the UK, by having either a spouse or children under 18 currently living in the UK, and currently hold valid permission to enter or remain for longer than six months.