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UK grants $3.9m to Israeli-Palestinian coexistence projects

Alistair Burt, Britain's Minister for the Middle East [File photo]
Alistair Burt, Britain's Minister for the Middle East [File photo]

The British government has pledged to provide £3 million ($3.9 million) to promote coexistence between Israelis and Palestinians, according to the Jewish Chronicle.

UK Middle East Minister Alistair Burt announced on Tuesday that the programme would be regulated by the Department of International Development and would fund “people to people” initiatives.

“This UK support will help Israelis and Palestinians work together to achieve tangible improvements in their lives and build understanding between people on both sides of the conflict,” he said.

Read:  Brokering occupation – United Kingdom and United States

The UK’s Labour Friends of Israel, which has been campaigning for financial backing for the past five years, hailed the announcement as a triumph, saying “the government appears to have listened to our calls on this important issue.”

James Sorene, chief executive of UK-Israel think-tank Bicom, which also advocated for the funding, expressed hope that this was the start of long-term financial support for co-existence projects.

Earlier this month, Sorene justified the need for a co-existence fund by citing the aid given by the UK government to fund Palestinian education: “This should be a positive investment in the future of young Palestinians but far too often Palestinian schools normalise terrorism and radicalise children.”

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