First Published: 2017-11-08

Palestinian official condemns UK minister's secret Israel talks
British minister Priti Patel held 12 separate meetings (including with Israeli leader Netanyahu) during a family holiday to Israel, without notifying the UK government.
Middle East Online

Ashrawi said Israel seeks to turn ministers in foreign government into advocates for its Zionist policies, using illegitimate means.

RAMALLAH - A senior Palestinian official on Wednesday condemned a British minister's unauthorised meetings in Israel as "scandalous", urging Prime Minister Theresa May to take action.

British International Development Secretary Priti Patel was summoned back from a trip to Africa on Wednesday to meet with May, with speculation she would be fired.

Patel had apologised Monday for holding 12 separate meetings -- including with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu -- during a family holiday to Israel in August, without notifying the Foreign Office or Downing Street in advance.

Senior Palestinian official Hanan Ashrawi condemned the visit, accusing Israel of seeking to turn ministers in foreign government into "advocates" through illegitimate means.

"I think it is scandalous and that leads me to question how many more cases, not just in Britain but other places, have not been exposed," Ashrawi said.

"It must warrant serious investigation and serious accountability," she said, though she stopped short of calling on May to fire her.

"I think Israeli meddling in other governments' affairs has to be looked into."

During her meetings, Patel discussed the possibility of British aid being used to support medical assistance for Syrian refugees arriving in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights, Downing Street said.

Reports suggest however that she had not explained to May that this involved supplying funding to the Israeli army, which has facilitated the treatment of wounded refugees in Israeli hospitals.

 

Turkey warns Syria against protecting Kurds

Two hardline Syria rebels announce merger

IS kills 25 Iraqi militiamen near Kirkuk

Sudan frees dozens of activists detained after protests

Saudi Arabia to host first Arab Fashion Week

Somalia appoints new police, intelligence chiefs

Iran plane crash rescue search halted for second night

France reaffirms commitment to Iran nuclear deal

Abbas warms up to Moscow amid cold US-Palestinian ties

Israel strikes 'historic' gas contract with Egypt

Are Iranian satellite channels aiding regime change?

Israel pounds Gaza with air strikes after rocket attack

Iraq orders deportation of French jihadist

Pro-Assad militias to enter Syria's Afrin

Three Egyptian soldiers killed in Sinai

Israeli, US officials meet over gas row with Lebanon

Iran's supreme leader says progress needed on justice

Syria Kurds claim striking positions in Turkey

Netanyahu warns Iran, brandishes piece of metal

66 feared dead as plane crashes in Iranian mountains

Saudi women to open businesses without male permission

Netanyahu slams 'outrageous' Holocaust remark by Polish PM

Israeli air strikes kill 2 in Gaza

Six suffer breathing difficulties after Turkish shelling in Afrin

Russian mercenaries - a discrete weapon in Syria

Iran protests ban on wrestler who threw bout to avoid Israel

Fears of expanding Syrian war could trigger peace deal

Battle to free Mosul of IS 'intellectual terrorism'

Turkey frees Garman-Turk journalist after one year without charge

Turkey hands life sentences to 3 journalists for Gulen links

Turkey, US agree to ‘work together’ in Syria

Thousands protest corruption in Tel Aviv amid PM indictment call

Prominent jihadist commander killed by rival Syria rebels

300 Russians killed in Syria battle last week

Tillerson, Erdogan have ‘productive, open’ talk

Iran raises rates, freezes accounts in bid to shore up rial

Kremlin says five Russians killed in US Syria strikes

Oman FM in rare visit by Arab official to Jerusalem

Senior IS leader extradited to Iraq from Turkey

Strikes hit another hospital in Syria's Idlib

Churches snub Jerusalem reception over tax dispute with Israeli authorities

Tillerson says US never gave 'heavy arms' to Kurdish YPG

Captured foreign IS suspects claim innocence

Yemeni mother awaits death penalty for spying for UAE

Fuel shortage shuts down Gaza's only power plant