David Miliband's erev Yom Kippur Israel trip

By Jessica Elgot, October 10, 2011
David Miliband

David Miliband

David Miliband has spent the past week in Gaza, Israel, Jordan and Egypt, spending the run-up to Yom Kippur in Jerusalem.

The former Foreign Secretary was in Gaza with Save the Children. It was his first visit to the region, having been barred from Gaza during his time in government because of security concerns.

Mr Miliband, who travelled with Save The Children chief executive Justin Forsyth, told t he Daily Telegraph: "Gaza has gone off the political agenda, and that is dangerous."

He visited a nutrition centre in Gaza, which has received £160,000 from Save the Children.

He tweeted on Thursday morning that he was enjoying time in Israel's capital. "There's nothing like an early morning walk in Jerusalem's old city. Too early for trinkets, just enough time for history."

His office confirmed that Mr Miliband spent half a day in Jerusalem before going on to Jordan on Friday.

On Saturday, Mr Miliband wrote a blog detailing his time in Egypt, meeting 100 young Egyptian leaders. He described them as "the Tahrir revolutionaries of the Egyptian middle class who effectively brought down Mubarak.

"They wanted to ask me about a whole range of things, from campaigning techniques to how to run a Ministry, but underlying it all was the question expressed by one of the young women – what if the rest of the country does not share our vision of a liberal Muslim country, in which some people wear headscarves and others don't, and which is comfortable in the reconciliation of Islam with modernity.

"They were proud and in many cases pious Muslims – but they were determined not to decide for others how they should lead their lives.

"I came away thinking that this is a generation that will work hard to preserve its revolution."

Last updated: 10:57am, October 10 2011