Bishop of Southwark asks about peace-building activities in Israel

The Bishop of Southwark received the following written answer on 1st March 2022:

The Lord Bishop of Southwark asked His Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made of the decision by the government of Israel to prohibit Palestinians under the age of 22 from entering Israel to participate in organised peace-building activities and the impact that this will have on UK-funded cross-community peace building work in the region.

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Con): We continue to call upon the Government of Israel to fully respect the fundamental rights and freedoms of Palestinians and civil society organisations and to allow them to freely operate in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs). Israel must abide by its obligations under international humanitarian law. The Minister for the Middle East and North Africa, Lord Ahmad, has raised human rights concerns in several recent engagements with the Israeli Ambassador, including a call on 16 February. The UK is committed to making progress towards a negotiated two-state solution. In support of this, we continue to fund peacebuilding projects focused on Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. The UK remains committed to a two-state solution, as I [Lord Ahmad] made clear in meetings with Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen, Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh and Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad Malki, during my visit to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories on 10-13 January.


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