- Foreign Secretary James Cleverly will travel to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs) this week (11-13 September) and commit to tackling threats to regional security, including from Iran.
- In a speech at an international security conference, he will condemn Iran for enabling terrorism in Israel through its support for Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad and reiterate the UK’s support for a two-state solution.
- In the OPTs, the Foreign Secretary will visit Jalazone Refugee Camp and see first-hand impact of international support for the UN body providing humanitarian assistance to Palestinian refugees across the Middle East.
The Foreign Secretary will condemn Iran for enabling terrorism in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories and commit to strengthening security ties during a visit to the region this week (11-13 September).
In his first visit as Foreign Secretary, James Cleverly will give a speech at an international security conference on 12 September focusing on the security challenges facing Israel, the OPTs and the region, and the importance of advancing the two-state solution. He will stress the UK’s support for a viable two-state solution as the only way to bring about security, stability and prosperity for Israelis, Palestinians and the wider region.
He will commit to working with Israel to counter Iran’s destabilising activity and visit Israel’s state of the art ‘Iron Dome’ missile defence system, where the Foreign Secretary will receive a briefing on the range of threats that Israel faces.
In the Occupied Palestinian Territories, he will visit Jalazone Refugee Camp in the West Bank to see first-hand the impact of international support to Palestinian refugees.
Speaking ahead of the trip, Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said:
The UK and Israel work closely together to keep our people safe. I’ll be using my first visit to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories as Foreign Secretary to renew our close security partnership, in the face of unacceptable threats from the Iranian regime.
A two-state solution between Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories is the only way to bring about security, stability and prosperity for Israelis, Palestinians and the wider region. I’ll be making clear that all parties must take steps advance this cause.
During the two-day visit, the Foreign Secretary will meet with senior figures in both Israel and OPTs, including Foreign Minister Eli Cohen, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh, to encourage dialogue and cooperation to end the cycle of violence.
In Israel he will also pay his respects to the six million Jews who perished in the Holocaust by visiting Yad Vashem, Israel’s Holocaust memorial, and laying a wreath at the eternal flame.
- The Foreign Secretary will meet with Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
- The Foreign Secretary will emphasise the UK’s support for a safe and secure Israel, particularly with regard to the threat from the Iranian regime, while reiterating that a two-state solution is the only means to achieve a just and lasting peace. He will also emphasise the importance of respect for the historic ‘status quo’ at Jerusalem’s holy sites.
- The Foreign Secretary will also attend a demonstration of Israel’s ‘Iron Dome’ defence system and Hermes 450 drones. The Hermes 450 exemplifies the thriving military-military relationship between our countries; the UAV is built by Elbit Systems Ltd, and the RAF participated in a joint exercise using the Hermes 450 in July 2021. Iron Dome is responsible for acquiring, tracking and, if necessary, destroying rockets and mortars.
- The Foreign Secretary will meet Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh. He will reiterate the UK’s longstanding commitment to a two-state solution, with Jerusalem as a shared capital, and will urge continued cooperation with Israel to de-escalate tensions and address the cycle of violence.
- He will also use meetings with the Palestinian leadership to emphasise the importance of democratic renewal, including through elections. He will meet with UNRWA’s Commissioner-General and visit UNRWA facilities to see first-hand the importance of international support for Palestinian refugees and learn about the protection concerns of community members. Escalating violence has placed increased pressure on Palestinians and UNRWA’s essential services.
- He will also meet with communities in the West Bank affected by settler violence and announce the UK has increased funding this year to £1.2 million for the West Bank Protection Consortium, an organisation run by international humanitarian organisations to provide support to 50,000 Palestinians at risk of forcible transfer.