David Cameron's Israel trip set to go ahead despite strike

By Marcus Dysch, March 10, 2014
Prime Minister David Cameron

Prime Minister David Cameron

Confusion has grown over David Cameron's planned trip to Israel in the light of an ongoing Israeli Foreign Ministry workers' strike.

The Prime Minister is expected to speak at the Knesset this week, despite Israel’s Foreign Service Workers’ Association repeatedly stating that staff would not co-operate or assist with preparations.

On Sunday the union warned Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu not to break the strike by allowing Mr Cameron's visit to go ahead.

But London-based Israel advocacy sources confirmed on Monday that they believed the trip was still on.

Mr Cameron is also expected to tour the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum. A delegation of business leaders is thought to be travelling with him, and will highlight the work done by the UK-Israel Tech Hub set up by British Ambassador Matthew Gould.

A joint press conference with Mr Netanyahu is also likely.

It is thought Mr Cameron will also travel to Ramallah to meet Palestinian leaders and back the establishment of a Palestinian state.

Downing Street does not comment on Mr Cameron's travel plans and has not confirmed details of the long-awaited visit.

Israeli Ambassador to Britain Daniel Taub said last week that he had informed Downing Street of the labour dispute and warned of the possible need to cancel the trip.

The Israeli Foreign Ministry is understood to have called off plans for a delegation from the Vatican to visit Jerusalem next week. The Pope plans to visit the Holy Land in May, but his trip may be scuppered by the strike action.

When Mr Netanyahu visited Los Angeles last week no diplomats from the consulate in the city were present to greet him. His entourage was left stranded by the runway due to a lack of official transport.

Last updated: 12:04pm, March 10 2014