What is he up to?
British foreign secretary to meet Palestinian activists in East Jerusalem
British Foreign Secretary William Hague will on Wednesday meet with a group of Palestinian campaigners against Israel's West Bank barrier as part of a tour of Jerusalem.
Hague, a rightwing Conservative minister in the United Kingdom's coalition government, was scheduled to arrive in Israel late Tuesday for a trip for secret roundtable discussions on the Iranian nuclear program with a long list top Israeli officials.
But the former Conservative party leader will also take time to meet Palestinian in East Jerusalem with activists who take part in regular protests at Bil'in, the site of weekly demonstrations against the barrier, which have often turned violent.
He will also meet other Palestinian activists in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah, a regular flashpoint in confrontations between local Arab residents and Jewish settlers.
Foreign ministry sources said Hague's schedule had raised eyebrows among Israel's diplomats, but that they a decision had been made to refrain from any public criticism.
Hague's tour is the latest in a series of British diplomatic gestures that signal the U.K.'s opposition to the barrier. Two weeks ago the British embassy in Tel Aviv lodged an official protest with the government over the sentencing to a year in jail of Abdullah, Abu Rahma, a leader of the Bil'in protests, and British diplomats attended all of Rahma's court appearances.
The foreign secretary's visit comes at a time when Israel seems increasingly unable to count on the support of the U.K., a traditional ally.
Would someone please take this guy to a tour at all locations exploded by suicide bombers - to explain why a barrier is needed?