Home Secretary Sajid Javid visited Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories earlier this week to discuss the region’s security, tackling extremism and the importance of freedom of religion.
On Sunday 30 June, Mr Javid visited Ramallah where he met the Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh. They discussed bilateral cooperation in the security sector, the current political and fiscal challenges facing the Palestinian Authority and the impact of the occupation. Mr Javid reaffirmed the UK’s commitment to the two-state solution, based on 1967 borders with Jerusalem as a shared capital as the path to unlocking the peace, prosperity and freedom desired by Israelis and Palestinians.
On Monday 1 July he visited the Old City of Jerusalem – one of the most sacred and holy sites in the world for Christians, Jews and Muslims alike, becoming the first British Cabinet Minister to say a prayer at the Al Aqsa Mosque, and visit the Haram Al Sharif/Temple Mount. He also paid his respects at the Western Wall and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
Mr Javid later met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, where he praised the strength of the 2 countries’ bilateral relationship, and discussed Iran, the concerning rise of antisemitism and prospects for peace with the Palestinians.
He also discussed strengthening security cooperation with Israeli Minister for Public Security, Strategic Affairs and Information, Gilad Erdan.
Mr Javid also visited the Holocaust Memorial Centre of Yad-Vashem where he heard moving stories of bravery and compassion in the most tragic and horrifying of circumstances. He emphasised that we must ensure such abhorrent crimes never happen again and fight religious intolerance wherever it arises.
Home Secretary Sajid Javid said:
It was an honour to meet our friends in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories to discuss our continued commitment to security and the pursuit of peace.
The importance of the political progress needed to unlock a just and lasting peace is inescapable in the Old City of Jerusalem. With sites sacred to Christians, Muslims and Jews, all believers need to be able to practise their faith freely, peacefully and without fear.
As Home Secretary, I’m committed to working with friends at home and abroad to tackle all forms of religious hatred – including antisemitism, anti-Muslim hatred, and the persecution of Christians.