Israel PM Netanyahu greeted by pro-Palestine protests on London visit
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will face hundreds of protesters when he meets with his British counterpart Theresa May in London on Monday morning.
Pro-Palestine activists have organized a demonstration outside Downing Street, where Netanyahu is due to discuss among other things the rising ‘threat’ of Iran.
A Facebook page advertising the event claims to have support from several activist organizations, including Palestine Solidarity Campaign, Stop the War Coalition, War on Want and the Muslim Association of Britain.
Some 268 people have confirmed they will attend, according to the page.
Before flying to Britain, Netanyahu said he wants to “tighten” relations with the UK in the face of the “extraordinary aggression” from Iran after the Islamic Republic tested a ballistic missile over the weekend. Tehran denies the test was in breach of the 2015 nuclear deal.
“We are in a period of diplomatic opportunities and challenges. The opportunities stem from the fact that there is a new administration in Washington, and a new government in Britain,” Netanyahu said.
“I intend to speak with both of them about tightening relations, between each side and Israel and trilaterally.”
According to the Telegraph, a Downing Street spokesman said May was expected to raise concerns about illegal settlement building, but it would only form a small part of their discussions.
Netanyahu’s visit comes six weeks after Britain assisted in the passage of a UN Security Council resolution condemning Israel’s illegal settlements in the West Bank as a “flagrant violation under international law.”
The resolution was able to pass because the United States made the unusual choice not to exercise its veto power.
Britain played a key role in brokering the resolution, according to the Guardian, which claimed the Foreign Office did not deny it had been involved in the drafting process.
Netanyahu reacted furiously to UNSC resolution 2334, reserving his strongest condemnation for outgoing US President Barack Obama.
In a sign of frustration with London, Netanyahu summoned Britain’s ambassador on Christmas Day for a telling-off.
Nine other ambassadors were also summoned by the Israeli PM, including the US ambassador.
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