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19/08/2017
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UK Grants £3mil To Israel/Palestine Peace

henry@alondon.net (21/07/2017)

The British government announced that it would be granting £3 million pounds over the next three years to Israeli/Palestinian peace projects

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Middle East Minister Alistair Burt announcing the £3 million in funding (Source: Jewish Chronicle/Parliamentlive.tv)

The British government announced that it has pledged £3 million pounds for coexistence projects between Israelis and Palestinians, the Jewish Chronicle reported Wednesday.

These “people to people” initiatives had seen British financial support drop from £150,000 of taxpayer money in 2015-16 to zero this year.

Middle East Minister Alistair Burt announced the 3-year reinvestment on Tuesday: “This UK support will help Israelis and Palestinians work together to achieve tangible improvements in their lives and build understanding between people on both sides of the conflict”, he said.

It seems that Labour Friends of Israel (LFI) played a considerable role in rebooting Britain’s financial investment by putting pressure on the Department for International Development (DFID.

“LFI is delighted that the Government appears to have listened to our calls on this important issue”, said LFI chair Joan Ryan, who welcomes the news as the success of a five-year campaign.

The projects are “based on the premise that bringing Israelis and Palestinians together will promote reconciliation, trust and understanding between the two peoples which is vital in underpinning any successful peace process”, she added.

Conservative Friends of Israel similarly rejoiced, with honorary president Lord Polak saying: “We are delighted that (DFID) has secured this unprecedented funding, which together with the redirection of Palestinian Authority aid to health and education will ensure taxpayers value for money while directly supporting conflict resolution.”

Last week the Britain Israel Communications and Research Centre (BICOM) released a report confirming the beneficial nature of these projects.

James Sorene, the chief executive of BICOM, said: “The evidence is clear that these projects have profound long-term impact.

“One in five participants went on to devote their careers to peace building and an average of 80 percent of people said they trusted the other side more and wanted to work for peace after taking part.”

“The government now needs to ensure co-existence work reaches its full potential by supporting the campaign for an International Fund for Israeli-Palestinian Peace,” concluded Ryan.

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