Cash for Israeli army scandal!

The front banner on Saturday’s 20,000-strong demonstration in support of a Palestinian state
The front banner on Saturday’s 20,000-strong demonstration in support of a Palestinian state

ON HER return to the UK after her secret visit to Israel, Secretary of State for International Development, Priti Patel, asked her department to look at the case for diverting aid money from the needy of the world to the Israeli army, her deputy Alistair Burt confirmed in the House of Commons yesterday.

The money would allegedly further the Israeli army’s humanitarian efforts on the occupied Golan Heights. In fact the Israeli army is aiding and arming Islamic terrorists on the Golan Heights who are fightng the Syrian army.

It is also providing medical care for terrorists wounded by the Syrian army. Patel was in fact campaigning for money for terrorism against the Syrian people. Her summer visit to Israel was not cleared by the Foreign Office and it has been alleged that she was collecting Israeli money for a Tory Party leadership bid.

Patel finally admitted on Monday that she secretly met Israeli PM Netanyahu on her trip to Israel.

Yesterday she absented herself from the House of Commons, leaving Alistair Burt, Minister of State for the Middle East at the Foreign & Commonwealth Office to answer an urgent question from Labour.

Shadow Secretary of State for International Development, Kate Osamor, said: ‘The Secretary of State for International Development met with Israel’s Prime Minister Netanyahu without telling either the Foreign Office or the Prime Minister, accompanied by a pro-Israeli lobbyist, she then misled the British public with comments on Friday that yesterday she finally corrected.

‘It has now emerged that the Prime Minister met her Israeli counterpart last week without even knowing about the secret meeting in August. And today we learned that the Secretary of State has applied pressure to her department to divert humanitarian funding to the Israeli Army in the Golan Heights.’ This is the ultimate insult to Palestinians and Syrians.

Osamor continued: ‘So will the minister tell the House exactly what was discussed in those secret meetings and exactly what pressure the Secretary of State applied on her department when she returned to the UK.

‘It is hard to think of a more black and white case of breaking the Ministerial Code of Conduct. But rather than change the minister, the Prime Minister somehow decided last night that it is the Ministerial Code itself that needs changing.

‘We have a prime minister who has lost her authority and her control of the classroom. Does the minister accept that it is time the Secretary of State either faces a Cabinet Office investigation or does the decent thing and just resign?’

Replying, International Development Minister, Alistair Burt, said that ‘the Secretary of State published a statement yesterday with an apology’. He went on: ‘The Foreign and Commonwealth Office was informed of the Secretary of State’s visit during the course of the visit, but not before, and the Secretary of State has been very clear and absolutely contrite in the statement yesterday, she recognises that of course she should have informed the Foreign Office before the visit, but she didn’t. That is why the statement was made and that is why she has apologised.’

May has refused to dismiss, or even properly investigate, International Development Secretary Priti Patel, despite a political outcry and calls for her to go. Patel has apologised for holding 12 secret meetings with Israeli officials, including one with Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu, while claiming to be on a private holiday in August.

She did not inform the UK Foreign Office, was not accompanied by British diplomats and did not contact the British embassy in Israel. She was accompanied by pro-Israeli Tory peer and lobbyist, Lord Polak.

• Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson has said his comments about jailed British-Iranian woman Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe training journalists in Iran ‘could have been clearer’, but refused to apologise for making them. Because of his statement her jail sentence of five years has been doubled.