The delegation with Israeli president Reuven Rivlin

The delegation with Israeli president Reuven Rivlin (sitting on the right) with Sir Eric Pickles (sitting on the left). Members of the delegation are behind, including MPs Guto Bebb, John Howell, Andrew Percy, Bob Blackman, Matthew Offord, Chloe Smith and Heather Wheeler.

Sir Eric Pickles has led a group of MPs on a delegation to Israel.

The Conservative Friends of Israel group met Israel’s President Reuven Rivlin during the trip, in addition to Defence Minister Moshe Ya’alon, Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid and new British Ambassador David Quarrey.

The delegation also saw remains of rockets fired from Gaza during a trip to Sderot Sderot near Gaza and vivised Bethlehem in the West Bank.

Pickles said: “Our itinery has afforded us an insight into the many faces of Israel; from the country’s vibrant democracy to the scientific advances of the Weitzmann Institute and the gift of life, that Save a Child’s Heart has given to almost 4,000 children with congenital heart defects from Gaza, the West Bank and beyond.”

He added: “Israel can rest assured it has a steadfast friend in the conservative Party and my fellow officers and I have renewed determination to support Israel in Parliamwnt and showcase its achievements.”

Attending the trip will be CFI’s new team of Parliamentary Officers, including MPs Guto Bebb, John Howell, Andrew Percy, Bob Blackman, Matthew Offord, Chloe Smith and Heather Wheeler. Oolver Dowden was also this week announced as an officer.

CFI director Stuart polak said: “Israel needs its strongest friends to be up-to-date on these crucial issues going into this new Parliament”.