David Ward MP has been out in the West Bank. He has been blogging a diary for the three days of his visit. Day One is here:
Yesterday night I met with the Consul General based in East Jerusalem to discuss the incredibly complex issue of achieving peace for Israelis and Palestinians. I am reluctant to post my thoughts at this stage as we have so much more to see over the next three days but there is so much that needs to be done to ensure that there is lasting peace in the region. Hopefully the next few days will give me a greater insight into the issues and the solutions.
The programme continues with a meeting with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA) and a ‘tour’ of East Jerusalem followed by a visit to the Jordan Valley with Al-Haq (a Palestinian human rights organisation). We then have a meeting with Dr. Salam Fayyad, Prime Minister of the Palestine Authority in Ramallah.
When I visited Gaza in 2010 I was immensely impressed by the colossal efforts of the United Nations and I am pleased to say that on Saturday we will have the chance to meet with the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) as part of a field visit to the Biddu enclave followed by a meeting with Oxfam in an olive cooperative near Ramallah.
The final meeting on Saturday will be with a senior member of the PLO. On the last full day before we leave we will be visiting Hebron to meet with Breaking the Silence (Israeli army veterans) and a lawyer at Defence for Children International. All in all a busy but fascinating few days.
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