Calls for the cabinet minister, Priti Patel, to step down, are ‘drumming up’ today following reports by Israeli media revealing 12 unauthorised meetings of the MP with Israeli politicians last August. Throughout her trip to Israel, one she’d described as a self-paid “family holiday”, the MP met with a number of Israeli politicians, including the Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu.
Furthermore, Ms Patel has reportedly visited an Israeli military hospital located in the Golan Heights, and thus breached the British Diplomacy Protocol that refuses to recognise Israel’s authority over the area, which has been occupied in the Six-Day War in 1967.
Allegedly, while Ms Patel visited the military field hospital in the Golan Heights, she declared plans to give UK aid money to the Israeli hospital, which is said to be facilitating both Israelis and Syrian refugees. It isn’t yet clear whether Prime Minister Theresa May and Foreign Minister Boris Johnson were informed about Patel’s meetings and aid plans.
Wonderful meeting my friend Sec. of State Priti @Patel4witham, a woman of great courage and leadership. We are taking concrete action 1/2 pic.twitter.com/JCXlRhukqW
— Ambassador Gilad Erdan גלעד ארדן (@giladerdan1) September 7, 2017
Patel’s visit to the Golan Heights has raised some questions over a possible shift in the UK Foreign policy, as well as doubts over Patel’s professionality as a diplomatic authority.
To help you understand the fuss around Patel’s visit in the Golan Heights, The Voice of London has outlined everything that you need to know:
In response to the reports, MP Patel has published an apology: “In hindsight, I can see how my enthusiasm to engage in this way could be misread, and how meetings were set up and reported in a way which did not accord with the usual procedures. I am sorry for this and I apologise for it.” Further in her statement, she claimed that her only aim is “to put the interests of British taxpayers and the world’s poor at the front of our development work.”
The Guardian report states that it is speculated that PM Theresa May will sack MP Patel, who is currently serving as the UK International Development Secretary. The parliamentary scandal will be a second this week, after the Defence Minister, Sir Michael Fallon, has resigned for “inappropriate behaviour”.
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Words: Adi Cohen | Subbing: Pamela Machado