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3 Oct 2014
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A View from Israel


By Ann Clwyd
Labour MP Ann Clwyd travelled to Israel on a fact-finding tour. She filed a series of reports for the Today programme.

Last time I was here was 12 years ago. It was difficult then, but it now seems much worse, with people traumatised by the continued violence. As a member of the House of Commons select committee on international development (the group that oversees the Department For International Development (DFID)), I wanted to see how money was being spent and what needs to be done in terms of dealing with the huge humanitarian crisis which is now unfolding.

In the past I've visited many different places to observe human rights including Kosovo, East Timor, Cambodia, Sudan and Iraq. I have discovered that getting access to find out what's going on here in Israel is as difficult as anywhere else in the world.

Reports are coming out of the occupied Palestinian towns, but no-one really knows what's happening in places like the refugee camps in Jenin. I've come here to see if I can find out for myself what's really going on.

The streets of Jenin are deserted and under curfew. Those of Israel are quiet, as people fear to go out, and the old city of Jerusalem is empty of tourists. All the words of Kofi Annan and George Bush seem meaningless as the fighting goes on. Here on the ground peace seems as far away as ever.

LINKS
Put your questions to Ann Clwyd during a live chat on Monday at 9:00am
BBC Online - full coverage of Israel and the Palestinians
International Development Committee - homepage
Department for International Development


NB. The BBC cannot be held responsible for the content of external websites

Ann Clwyd in Jerusalem.
Listen - Ann Clwyd on the deliberate targeting of ambulances and medical personnel by Israeli soldiers (12/04/2002)
Listen - Ann Clwyd on her attempt to visit Yasser Arafat. (11/04/2002)
Palestinian woman in Jenin.
More International Stories


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