Labour Friends of Israel chair Joan Ryan has called for the suspension of UK government aid to Palestinian civil servants amid claims that funds are being used to pay salaries for terrorists.
Joan Ryan, has called for department for international development payments to be suspended pending an investigation following claims from Palestinian Media Watch (PMW).
A PMW report released last week found evidence that the Palestinian Authority is continuing to pay terrorist salaries despite pledging it would stop and move responsibility to the Palestinian Liberation Organisation in order to continue receiving US and European aid.
The PA shut its Ministry of Prisoner affairs in 2014 and instead a PLO Commission of Prisoner Affairs was set up.
But the PMW research found that, as many predicted, last year the Palestinian Authority transferred extra money to the PLO equivalent for what the organisation claims used to pay the prisoners.
The PA raised the amount it transfers to the PLO by 481million shekels to 775million in 2015, according to the report, the same amount the PLO Commission of Prisoners’ Affairs needed to take on the responsibilities of the PA Ministry of Prisoners’ Affairs, which is primarily paying terrorists salaries.
Responding to the report in a letter to international development secretary Justine Greening, Ms Ryan said: “I am a strong supporter of international aid, including the valuable work that DFID does.
“However, the continuing concerns about the alleged misuse of aid by the PA risk both undermining public confidence in the value of international aid, as well as doing nothing to help promote peace and coexistence between the peoples of Israel and Palestine.
The MP repeated calls for a cross party independent inquiry on how UK aid spending in the region, and said all DFID transfers related to civil servant salaries should be suspended until the PMW claims are investigated.