Israel and Jerusalem listed as separate places in UK quarantine list
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Israel and Jerusalem listed as separate places in UK quarantine list

Foreign Office decision to list the holy city as separate to Israel branded 'absolutely inappropriate' by the Board of Deputies

Boris Johnson looks out over the Old City of Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives during his trade visit to Israel (2015). 

Photo credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
Boris Johnson looks out over the Old City of Jerusalem from the Mount of Olives during his trade visit to Israel (2015). Photo credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

The Board of Deputies has criticised Whitehall mandarins as “absolutely inappropriate” after Israel and Jerusalem were listed separately as places from which visitors to the UK will no longer need to quarantine.

The angry reaction followed an announcement on Thursday from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) regarding its weekly update on Covid-related travel corridors.

Jerusalem is listed separately because it includes East Jerusalem, which both Israelis and Palestinians claim, and whose status under international law remains that of an occupied territory.

However, the Board tweeted its feelings after ‘Israel’ and ‘Jerusalem’ both appeared in a list of countries as bullet points on the government’s website.

“Absolutely inappropriate to list ‘Jerusalem’ as a separate country,” it tweeted. “We have taken this up with the FCDO this morning and they are urgently reviewing it.”

On its website, the FCDO said it “no longer advises against all but essential travel to Israel, and no longer advises against all but essential travel to Jerusalem (including to East Jerusalem (Occupied Palestinian Territories)). Israel, and Jerusalem are both now on the list of countries and territories where self-isolation is not required on return to England, Wales, and Northern Ireland.”

Conservative Friends of Israel Parliamentary Chairmen Stephen Crabb, Lord Eric Pickles (Lords), and Honorary President Lord Polak urged the government to make an immediate correction to the advice about Jerusalem.

“The announcement of a travel corridor with Israel is excellent news. However, the FCDO’s decision to define Jerusalem as a territory separate from Israel is offensive and hostile.

“Jerusalem is the capital of Israel. To describe Jerusalem as anything other than an integral part of Israel is a fiction divorced from reality and the travel advice must be immediately corrected”. 
 

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