UK lawyers briefed on West Bank military courts

A group of British Jewish lawyers have met their counterparts in Israel to discuss legal aspects of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

The three-day visit, which began on Tuesday and was organised by grassroots advocacy group Yachad, saw 10 participants meet lawyers representing the IDF, Palestinian human rights groups and settler leaders.

QCs, commercial lawyers and a former judge were among the British delegation. They travelled to Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and the West Bank to investigate what Yachad said were specific “legal issues around the occupation”.

A key feature on the itinerary was hearings at the IDF’s military courts in the West Bank — thought to be the first trip of its kind by a British Jewish group.

Yachad director Hannah Weisfeld said: “Our feeling has been for a long time that there’s a very interesting, objective discussion to have among lawyers about the conflict.

“It’s about how international law does or does not apply to the situation in the West Bank. Why not have a look and draw our own conclusions?”

Ms Weisfeld said she hoped the visit, the first organised by Yachad, would be repeated.

“We will hopefully now be in a position to do a re-run of this trip and another one looking at women’s issues in the conflict,” she said.

Last updated: 10:45am, January 10 2014