UK still working with Palestinian ‘terror’ groups on ‘human rights issues’

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UK still working with Palestinian ‘terror’ groups on ‘human rights issues’

Minister Amanda Milling confirmed Britain is engaging with organisations which Israel labelled as terrorists due to their links to the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

Amanda Milling answering a question in the Commons
Amanda Milling answering a question in the Commons

The UK is continuing to engage on “human rights issues” with “a number” of the six Palestinian organisations last month designated by Israel to be linked to terrorism, the minister for Asia Amanda Milling has confirmed.

Questioned on what discussions had taken place with her Israeli counterpart over the designation of six Palestinian organisations as being affiliates of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, thus designating them as ‘terrorist organisations’, Milling told the House of Commons this decision was “a matter for the government of Israel.”

The former Conservative Party chair then said:”The UK maintains its own criteria for designations. We continue engagement with a number of these organisations on human rights issues and respect the role NGOs and civil society organisations play in upholding human rights and democracy.”

In October Israel confirmed six Palestinian NGOs (Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, Al-Haq, Bisan Center for Research and Development, Defense for Children International-Palestine, the Union of Agricultural Work Committees and the Union of Palestinian Women’s Committees) were now deemed to be ” terrorist.”

During Foreign Questions on Tuesday, Milling was asked by Labour MP Marsha De Cordova whether she shared her “concerns” over the Israeli move which the MP for Battersea said was an “attempt to silence the peaceful defence of Palestinian rights.”

“Will she call on the Israeli government to immediately revoke this designation?” asked the Labour MP.

With groans from other MPs audible, Milling repeated the government’s position that this was a matter for Israel.

Labour MP Andrew Gwynne then urged to government to show initiative and take one the two board seats on the “exciting” International Fund for Israeli and Palestinian peace.

Miller said Middle East Minister James Cleverly had met with a director of the fund in September to better understand it.

Watch a clip of the minister responding to the question here:

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