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Government Funding Harms Peace Process

Last updated: 2004-03-15

The Director General of the Board of Deputies, Neville Nagler, has written to the Secretary of State for International Development, Hilary Benn, and the Leader of the House of Lords, Baroness Amos, expressing concern over the government's funding of the Palestinian Negotiation Support Unit, and the various statements made in favour of it.

The NSU has been involved in promoting the Palestinian Authority's case against Israel's security fence at the International Court of Justice. But the Foreign Office, in common with other EU governments, has rejected the court's claim to hear the case, which the government considers could be harmful to the peace process.

Commenting on his letters, Neville Nagler said: "It is absurd that one arm of the British government is engaged in funding activities which run counter to the policies of another. The Foreign Office has rejected the ICJ's right to hear the PA's claim on the security fence, whereas DFID is spending money to promote that claim. We have serious concerns about this abuse of UK tax revenues in order to criticise Israel's security fence. That fence only exists in order to protect Israel's citizens from the endless wave of Palestinian terror attacks. Whatever happened to joined-up government?"