UK to grant £3 million to Israeli, Palestinian coexistence projects

“This UK support will help Israelis and Palestinians work together to achieve tangible improvements in their lives and build understanding between people on both sides of the conflict.”

Palestinian protesters wave Palestinian flags as Israelis carrying Israeli flags walk past in front of the Damascus Gate outside Jerusalem's Old City (photo credit: REUTERS)
Palestinian protesters wave Palestinian flags as Israelis carrying Israeli flags walk past in front of the Damascus Gate outside Jerusalem's Old City
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The British government has pledged to provide funds amounting to £3 million for coexistence initiatives between Israelis and Palestinians, the London-based Jewish Chronicle reported Wednesday.
The UK's Middle East Minister, Alistair Burt, on Tuesday announced details of the program set to take effect over the next three years.
“This UK support will help Israelis and Palestinians work together to achieve tangible improvements in their lives and build understanding between people on both sides of the conflict,” he said.
Alistair Burt (AFP PHOTO/ ALI AL-SAADI ALI AL-SAADI)Alistair Burt (AFP PHOTO/ ALI AL-SAADI ALI AL-SAADI)
The British government's Department for International Development is due to regulate the distribution of the "people-to-people" capital intended to foster cooperation between individuals from both sides of the decades-long Middle East conflict.
The announcement of the venue came in the wake of years of lobbying efforts led by the British parliamentary group Labour Friends of Israel, according to the Jewish Chronicle.
The report added that while £150,000 of British taxpayer funds were allocated to coexistence projects in the 2016-15 fiscal year, the amount was completely slashed in last year's budget.
The UK's Labour Friends of Israel hailed the announcement of the funding as a triumph, saying "the government appears to have listened to our calls on this important issue."
“Our five-year campaign for greater co-existence funding was based on the premise that bringing Israelis and Palestinians together will promote reconciliation, trust and understanding between the two peoples which is vital in underpinning any successful peace process," the Jewish Chronicle quoted Joan Ryan, the chairperson of the Labour Party-linked group, as saying.
“The government now needs to ensure co-existence work reaches its full potential by supporting the campaign for an International Fund for Israeli-Palestinian Peace," she added.