The Minister met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Interior Minister Aryeh Deri, and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Tzipi Hotovely. He also met with leader of the Opposition MK Isaac Herzog and Leader of the Joint List MK Ayman Odeh.
The Minister discussed the peace process, Gaza reconstruction, shared regional security threats, including ISIS/Daesh, and UK-Israel bilateral relations.
Mr Ellwood was briefed by Micky Rosenfeld, Israel Police Foreign Press Spokesperson on Israel’s security concerns and challenges. He also met several British and Israeli companies operating in Israel to hear about the opportunities for developing commercial ties.
The Minister also visited the city of Netanya which is twinned with his own constituency of Bournemouth, where he met a number of British expats at an event organised in conjunction with the Mayor of Netanya, Miriam Fierberg-Ikar, the Netanya Academic College, and the Israel British Commonwealth Association.
Dismissing the so-called ‘Boycotts, Divestment, and Sanctions’ campaign, Mr Ellwood said: “I met with British and Israeli business leaders who impressed on me the opportunities for companies in both our countries to do business. Our trade figures are at record levels and partnerships in technology and science continue to flourish. The reality of the UK-Israel bilateral relationship is one of rapidly strengthening links on trade, defence, tech, education, universities and science. This is the best response to those who call for boycotts”.
Speaking about his discussions with Israeli officials, the Minister said: “I have had a series of constructive meetings during my visit to Israel which covered a wide range of issues, including the current wave of violence and the need for both sides to make progress towards peace. For Israel, this includes improving economic conditions in Gaza and the West Bank, particularly in Area C. I also discussed shared security concerns and reiterated the UK’s strong condemnation of terrorist attacks wherever and whenever they occur”.