The British Consul-General to Jerusalem, Dr Alastair McPhail, hosted Jerusalemite youth activists, representatives of local and international NGOs and business people yesterday, at the Palestine Heritage Museum - Dar Al Tifel. At the meeting, they discussed recent developments in Jerusalem and the role of Palestinian institutions and civil society in the city.
During the meeting, British Consul General, Alastair McPhail described the support the British government is providing to Palestinian institutions in East Jerusalem including in the Old City, Silwan, At-Tur and Al-Issawiya. He said:
“The Palestinian character of East Jerusalem must be preserved, and the British government is determined to play its role in doing so. We are supporting Palestinian organisations doing vital work to serve the community and provide grassroots leadership. We will continue to call for the reopening of Palestinian institutions in East Jerusalem including Orient House and the Chamber of Commerce, and to condemn the construction of settlements in East Jerusalem.
Jerusalem’s young people deserve a future of peace and hope, in a shared capital. A shared capital where Palestinians and Israelis can travel freely and without fear to visit family or to shop. Where neighbourhoods can build parks and new houses. Where active Palestinian institutions are serving citizens under committed, elected Palestinian leadership. There is a future, in Jerusalem, for Palestinians.
Earlier on the day, Dr McPhail visited the Jerusalem Community Advocacy Network (JCAN) offices in the Mount of Olives. He met some beneficiaries and volunteers and discussed the difficulties faced by the community over the past months. He heard about how British support is helping JCAN to support families separated by residency rules.