Amnesty International: Theresa May must raise human rights issues during Netanyahu's UK visit


Published: 2017-10-31 18:34

Last Updated: 2017-11-01 10:12

Benjamin Netanyahu with Theresa May. (GPO)
Benjamin Netanyahu with Theresa May. (GPO)

As Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu plans his five-day visit to the UK, Human Rights group Amnesty International has called on British Prime Minister Theresa May to raise the issue of human rights during meetings with her Israeli counterpart.

Netanyahu’s visit, from 1 to 5 November, marks the centenary of the Balfour Declaration, the 1917 UK government statement which expressed its support of a “national home for the Jewish people” in Palestine.

“It’s not just Balfour which is being marked this year, it’s also 50 years since Israel’s oppressive military occupation of the Palestinian territory began - an occupation which shows no sign of becoming any less cruel for the millions of Palestinians suffering under it,” Kate Allen, Director of Amnesty International’s United Kingdom Section.

“When Theresa May meets Benjamin Netanyahu, she should urge him to address Israel’s mass human rights violations in the occupied territories, including by suspending all further settlement building and lifting all arbitrary and discriminatory restrictions on Palestinian movement, as well as ending the illegal blockade of Gaza and the collective punishment of Gaza’s entire population,” she added.

Amnesty international also called on May and ministers to raise the case of two high-profile Palestinian human rights activists, Issa Amro and Farid al-Atrash, who are currently on trial before an Israeli military court.

Theresa May caused controversy last week after she said that her country would celebrate the centenary of the Balfour declaration, which established the State of Israel, “with pride.”

Speaking in the Commons, the Prime Minister said: “We are proud of the role that we played in the creation of the state of Israel and we will certainly mark the centenary with pride.”