Palestinian Human Rights Defenders (HRDs)

I appreciate the concerns you have regarding the Government of Israel's decision to proscribe six civil society organisations as terrorist groups.

HM Government has a close relationship with the Government of Israeli, the strength of which allows sensitive issues such as this to be raised. Although these designations (and the evidence on which they are based) are a matter for the Israeli Government, ministers have said that they are in contact with their Israeli counterparts to understand why they felt they needed to take this action.

Human rights and civil society organisations have a vital role to play in the development of thriving, open societies. Israel's longstanding commitment to democratic values is one of its great strengths as a fellow democracy, and ministers continue to make clear that a strong, vibrant civil society is in Israel's own interest.

The UK is a proud champion of human rights and a strong supporter of those around the world who dedicate their lives to defending them. Support is provided to HRDs through bilateral contributions around the world, and through core contributions to multilateral organisations. The FCDO also monitors treatment of HRDs in its annual Human Rights and Democracy Reports, the most recent of which was published on 8 July. That report paid tribute to the courageous work of HRDs and listed support for them as a UK foreign policy priority.