Britain’s minister for the Middle East has concluded a three-day visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories, on a trip that celebrated the launch of a new fleet of El Al planes powered by Rolls Royce engines.

Alistair Burt MP, who assumed office in June for his second stint at the ministry, celebrated the bilateral relationship, saying Britain was “a great friend” of Israel’s.

He also completed a “moving” trip to Gaza, visiting the Commonwealth War Graves Commission cemetery two miles from the Mediterranean, where thousands of British soldiers lay buried after losing their lives in the First and Second World Wars.

In Israel, Burt met Minister for Regional Cooperation Tzachi Hanegbi, Deputy Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office Michael Oren and Yuval Rotem, director-general of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. He also met Ayman Odeh, Israel’s most senior Arab politician and head of the Joint List.

At Ben-Gurion Airport, Burt attended the launch ceremony of El Al’s first Boeing 787 Dreamliner plane [pictured, above], made with British-made Rolls Royce engines – a result of the biggest trade deal between the two countries, signed in 2016.

He said: “During this visit I reaffirmed the UK’s commitment to peace and stability in the Middle East. We will continue to support those in Israel and beyond who want to achieve a viable solution.”