Labour and Tory MPs in Israel to promote bilateral ties and meet politicians
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Labour and Tory MPs in Israel to promote bilateral ties and meet politicians

Opposition party holds meetings with senior Israeli and Palestinian figures, while Conservatives promote bilateral trade

  • Science Ministers Ofir Akunis & the UK's Sam Gyimah signed a memorandum of understanding to strengthen  Israel-UK cooperation in research & innovation.
    Science Ministers Ofir Akunis & the UK's Sam Gyimah signed a memorandum of understanding to strengthen Israel-UK cooperation in research & innovation.
  • Labour MPs meeting Palestinian Authority Minister Amal Jadou in Ramallah.
    Labour MPs meeting Palestinian Authority Minister Amal Jadou in Ramallah.
  • Tory MPs visit  visit Israel Innovation Authority,
    Tory MPs visit visit Israel Innovation Authority,
  • Labour MPs meeting with opposition leader Isaac Herzog.
    Labour MPs meeting with opposition leader Isaac Herzog.
  • CFI trade delegation in Tel Aviv at Azrieli centre
    CFI trade delegation in Tel Aviv at Azrieli centre
  • Labour MPs meeting Save A Child's Heart
    Labour MPs meeting Save A Child's Heart
  • Trade delegation with 8 Conservative parliamentarians at Gav-Yam Negev Advanced Technologies Park in Be'er-Sheva
    Trade delegation with 8 Conservative parliamentarians at Gav-Yam Negev Advanced Technologies Park in Be'er-Sheva
  • LFI delegation at the Western Wall
    LFI delegation at the Western Wall

Labour and Conservative MPs toured Israel this week, as more than 100 rockets rained down on Israeli towns from Gaza.

Labour parliamentarians met Avi Gabbay, leader of Israel’s Labor Party, who last month cut ties to Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, accusing him of “hostility” towards Britain’s Jews.

The group, which included Shadow Communities Secretary Andrew Gwynne MP, also met Palestinian Authority Minister Amal Jadou in Ramallah, in a trip organised by lobby group Labour Friends of Israel (LFI).

“We have seen for ourselves over the last two days the very real security challenges facing Israel,” said LFI chair Joan Ryan.

“As ever, it was a pleasure to meet with our friends from our sister party, the Israeli Labor party, and reaffirm our support for the important work they are doing in working towards a peaceful two-state solution.”

Sam Gyimah of CFI and Joan Ryan of LFI paying respects at Israel’s national Holocaust memorial, Yad Vashem

Meanwhile, senior Tories including former Chief Whip Mark Harper and former International Trade Minister Mark Garnier opened the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange this week, as part of a new-style trade delegation to Israel.

In the first-of-its-kind bilateral trade trip, organised by Conservative Friends of Israel, the MPs visited Israeli companies working in technology, energy, cyber security, medical science, agricultural technology (agri-tech) and financial technology (fin-tech), and met politicians and business people.

On the itinerary was a day in the southern city of Be’er-Sheva, where they toured Gav Yam Advanced Technologies Park, a joint initiative between the local municipality and Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.

Among the firms they met in Tel Aviv were Asserson Law, which in April successfully battled a London coroner’s “cab-rank rule” for the release of bodies for burial, and Hetz Ventures, the first British fund exclusively targeting Israeli start-ups, led in part by Lord (Andrew) Feldman, the former chairman of the Conservative Party.

“It is an honour to be leading a group of distinguished parliamentarians,” said Harper. “Brexit presents an enormous opportunity to increase our trade throughout the world, and we’re excited to be looking at the opportunities within Israel.”

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