UK aid money to Gaza ‘protected from misappropriation’, Cleverly tells MPs

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UK aid money to Gaza ‘protected from misappropriation’, Cleverly tells MPs

The foreign secretary replies to a question in the House of Commons about how funding for Palestinians is monitored

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

James Cleverly in the Commons.  Source: Parliament TV
James Cleverly in the Commons. Source: Parliament TV

No British aid money goes directly to the Palestinian Authority, James Cleverly has insisted, after a Tory backbencher condemned the payment of what he described as “so-called martyr salaries”.

Responding to concerns raised by the MP Chris Clarkson, the foreign secretary told the Commons:”I can reassure him that we always ensure that UK aid money is protected from misappropriation, and I can confirm to him and the House that no British aid money goes directly to the Palestinian Authority.

“We have raised this very issue with the Palestinian Authority and highlighted our belief that this is not conducive to good relations and a future two-state solution.”

Yesterday, in the Commons, Rishi Sunak has confirmed that the UK was sending an extra £20m in humanitarian aid to help with the crisis in Gaza.

Later, Lord Ahmad told the Lords that no aid money goes to Hamas, and instead goes through “trusted UN agencies”.

Cleverly also said on Tuesday that “professionalism and restraint by the Israel Defence Forces is an important part” of preventing the conflict from escalating.

The shadow foreign secretary, David Lammy, had urged the government to ensure Israel does not block aid for Palestinian civilians, nor food, water and medicine, as the middle eastern nation’s conflict with Hamas continues.

Cleverly responded saying: “We discuss this regularly and at every level within the Israeli government, and of course we reflect on the point that Israel itself as well as the countries in the near neighbourhood are trying to prevent this becoming a regional conflict.”

The SNP foreign affairs spokesperson, Brendan O’Hara, was among MPs to raised concerns that Israel was breaching international humanitarian law in its response to the Hamas atrocities on 7 October.

The foreign secretary said it was not his role “to make an assessment on the interpretation of events which are unfolding as we speak”.

Labour backbencher Imran Hussain spoke angrily as he said that “innocent blood continues to be spilt on the streets of Gaza”.

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