Campaign Update: UK position on British Embassy in Jerusalem

In response to a number of campaign e-mails I have received, here is my update on the situation.

The position of the UK Government has remained constant since April 1950, when the UK extended de jure recognition to the State of Israel, but withheld recognition of sovereignty over Jerusalem pending a final determination of its status. The UK recognises Israel’s de facto authority over West Jerusalem, but, in line with UN Security Council (UNSC) Resolution 242 (1967) and subsequent UNSC resolutions, regards East Jerusalem as under Israeli occupation.

A final determination of the status of Jerusalem should be sought as part of a negotiated settlement between Israelis and Palestinians. It must ensure Jerusalem is a shared capital of the Israeli and Palestinian states, with access and religious rights of both peoples respected.

The British Embassy to Israel is based in Tel Aviv. While Downing Street has not given any indication of timing, it has been confirmed that a review of the location of the Embassy is under way. While I will not speculate on the outcome of this review, I can assure you that the Prime Minister is aware of the sensitivity and importance of the location of the British Embassy to Israel. It is reassuring that HM Government recognises that this is a delicate issue.

Yours sincerely,

Andrew Lewer MBE MP