Today’s Daily Express (11 January 2018) features a story that suggests UK aid is being used to fund payments from the Palestinian Authority to prisoners and their families, two of whom attacked a British woman.
These claims are wrong and misleading.
Our support for the Palestinian Authority helps employ vetted teachers, doctors and nurses in the West Bank. Only named public servants from a pre-approved list are eligible for this funding and we have robust measures in place to make sure funding is not misused. For example, the Palestinian Authority payroll is checked by independent auditors, who have shown that all UK funds reach the intended beneficiaries.
The UK continues to support a two-state solution that would see a safe and secure Israel living alongside a viable and sovereign Palestinian state. Our work with the Palestinian Authority promotes stability through building strong institutions to help create a Palestinian government, as well as continuing to help them to educate a generation of young people and provide vital health services.
Our support is helping to get 25,000 young Palestinians into school, giving 3,700 immunisations to children so that they don’t fall ill to preventable illnesses and providing 185,000 medical consultations to every year.
The Secretary of State will carefully review future decisions to provide funding to the Palestinian Authority based on their commitment to the UK Partnership Principles and progress against key reform indicators. The Secretary of State raised her concerns about payments to prisoners in a meeting with the Palestinian Foreign Minister on 8 January.
DFID was not approached to comment by the Daily Express prior to the publication of their story.
If we had been approached for a comment we would have said: “These claims are wrong and misleading. No UK aid is used for payments to Palestinian prisoners or their families.
“Our support for the Palestinian Authority helps employ vetted health and education public servants, including teachers, doctors and nurses, in the West Bank. Only named public servants from a pre-approved list are eligible for this funding and we have robust measures in place to make sure funding is not misused.”