Minister for the Middle East Alistair Burt meets with British participants of the Gaza flotilla.
Following his meeting with some of the British nationals who were aboard the Gaza flotilla on 31 May, Minister for the Middle East Alistair Burt said:
“As I said in the House of Commons on 14 June, I invited all British nationals involved in the Gaza flotilla to a meeting to discuss their experiences, and I was able to meet with some of them today. I understood very clearly their anger and frustration about their detention, their treatment and about the loss of their goods and belongings, for which Israel is responsible. We had a productive discussion and I undertook to follow up on the concerns they raised. We continue to press Israel to return any British passports still in their possession, and to do everything they can to ensure the return of any belongings.
The British nationals and our consular staff were involved in a confusing and fast moving situation and I am disappointed that, because of the chaotic nature of the situation, consular staff did not manage to see all the British nationals involved, as quickly as we wanted to. We have expressed our concern and dissatisfaction with the Israeli organisation regarding those they detained, which hampered our ability to provide immediate consular assistance. British consular staff in Israel, London and Turkey worked tirelessly to do everything they could to assist the British nationals and their families, from start to finish of this situation. I recalled that we advise against all travel to Gaza, and reiterated that we would advise against any involvement in future flotillas.”