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Is UK funding Palestinian incitement? MP’s challenge to David Cameron

Exclusive: British taxpayers’ money cannot be used to provide a “blank cheque” to the Palestinian Authority, a Labour MP has said.

    Joan Ryan
    Joan Ryan

    British taxpayers’ money cannot be used to provide a “blank cheque” to the Palestinian Authority, a Labour MP has said.

    Joan Ryan, Labour Friends of Israel chair, said she was “disturbed” that the PA was glorifying terrorists in its schools and that its official television station propagated antisemitism.

    She urged David Cameron to launch an independent review of the funding.

    Writing to the Prime Minister, Ms Ryan said a cross-party inquiry could determine how the money was being put to use.

    Between 2011 and 2015, the Department for International Development (DfID) sent £349 million to the Palestinian territories. Around £130m went directly to the PA in a bid to promote wealth-creation, reduce poverty and support its government institutions.

    DfID is due to send a further £72m to the territories in 2016 — with £25.5m to the PA — a 15 per cent increase on last year.

    Ms Ryan said future funding should be linked “to the immediate cessation of violence”. She wrote: “I do not believe that, for so long as it incites violence against Israel’s citizens, the PA is helping to further Britain’s policy of a two-state solution. Indeed, its actions are making such an outcome far less likely.”

    The PA had “named at least 25 schools as a well as dozens of sporting events and summer camps after terrorists,” she told Mr Cameron. He has yet to respond.

    Writing for the JC, Ms Ryan maintained that the PA was integral to any two-state solution.

    She explained: “I believe that we need to continue to support the PA, but this cannot be a blank cheque. We cannot continue to repeatedly raise our concerns with them about incitement, only to see them repeatedly ignored.”

    Conservative peer Lord Hamilton, visiting Israel this week, said he would back an independent review of the funding.

    He said Palestinian children were being taught to kill Israelis.

    “If you give the PA DfID’s money… we are actually financing the radicalisation of young people,” he said. “If they get to Britain, they might decide to start killing people on the streets of Britain.”

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