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UK reduced support for Palestine Authority in past year

Protesters gathered in front of the Israeli Embassy in central London, in support of Gaza's anniversary march of the 'Great March of Return', in London, UK on March 30, 2018 [Palestinian Forum in Britain]
Protesters gathered in front of the Israeli Embassy in central London, UK on 30 March 2018 [Palestinian Forum in Britain]

The UK government's support for Palestine has declined over the past year, an internal e-mail released through a Freedom of Information request has revealed, the Jewish News reported.

The memo came in response to a request submitted by Scottish officials enquiring whether Westminster's "commitment to prevent public institutions from imposing their own international boycotts" announced last year, alongside the Queen's speech, also applies to the north of the border.

In an email, the desk officer responded they "work in the Middle East Peace Process team" and that some information which was sent to the Scottish Government team by a colleague last year has been revised and marked red.

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Statements regarding the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Palestinian state-building in the segment titled "When will the UK recognise Palestine?" were struck through.

The deleted statements include that "the PA has made important progress in state-building which has been recognised by the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund".

Further deleted sentences say that "the UK also believes that the PA has the capability to run an effective, inclusive, accountable state… That is why it is so important that the PA now returns to Gaza to ensure that good governance is extended throughout the territory which will become a Palestinian state".

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According to the Jewish News, the final deleted sentence states that "the UK is a leading donor to the PA and a strong supporter of its state-building efforts".

It is believed the email was sent to the Directorate of External Affairs (DEA) which, in late February, wrote that the Scottish Government "strongly discourages trade with companies active in Israeli settlements".

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