Thank you for your correspondence regarding Palestine.
I have visited the West Bank myself and witnessed the difficulties Palestinians have to face on a daily basis so I try to keep up with what is going on there and in Israel.
Of course the Israeli government has very close relations with our own, which does allow the United Kingdom to voice concerns without being perceived as antagonistic. While, ultimately, these designations are a matter for Israel and the Palestinian institutions, I understand that UK ministers have made contact with Israeli counterparts asking why they felt this recent action against the six designated groups has been taken.
The UK is a proud champion of human rights and a strong supporter of those around the world who dedicate their lives to defending them. Support is provided to human rights groups through bilateral contributions around the world, and through core contributions to multilateral organisations.
The Foreign Office also monitors treatment of the defenders of human rights in its annual Human Rights and Democracy Reports, the most recent of which was published on 8 July. That report paid tribute to the courageous work of human rights supporters and listed support for them as a UK foreign policy priority.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
EDWARD LEIGH MP