Today during Foreign Office Questions I asked Middle East Minister Alistair Burt about Israeli attempts to delegitimise human rights organisations operating in Palestine.
My question to Mr Burt was:
“What is the Government’s assessment of the report by the UN Office for the Co-ordination of Humanitarian Affairs about the rise in Israeli attempts to delegitimise human rights organisations operating in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, particularly humanitarian non-governmental organisations, and the negative impact that that has on their ability to represent Palestinian rights and organisations?”
Mr Burt’s response was:
“Israel has always prided itself, as a democracy in the Middle East, on ensuring that those groups that operate there have the freedom to operate there, even if they challenge the Israeli Government. It is very important to the United Kingdom that that tradition is maintained, particularly at a time of crisis. The west bank needs those who are able to interpret the situation and speak honestly, both to the Palestinian Authority and to the state of Israel, and the more political space there is to do this, the better it will be all round for the prospects of peace.”