Palestinian advocacy organisations have not been invited to give evidence in person to a parliamentary committee scrutinising proposed legislation which would ban public bodies in the UK from disinvesting from Israel due to concerns over the abuse of Palestinian rights.
The Economic Activity of Public Bodies (Overseas Matters) bill has faced criticism from pro-Palestinian groups and human rights organisations because it would specifically outlaw support for civil society campaigns targeting Israel, such as Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS).
Several prominent human rights organisations, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, have been named on a list of those invited to give evidence to a public bill committee which started examining the bill this week.
The committee on Tuesday heard evidence supportive of the bill from witnesses including James Gurd, executive director of Conservative Friends of Israel, and Alan Mendoza, the executive director of the Henry Jackson Society think tank.
Others invited to give evidence this week include UK Lawyers for Israel, the Board of Deputies of British Jews, the Jewish Leadership Council, and newspaper columnist Melanie Phillips, who has written that there are no good reasons to oppose the bill.