The government’s policies towards the Palestinians have been labeled “double standards and hypocrisy” by the Palestinians’ highest envoy to the United Kingdom.
Husam Zomlot criticized Prime Minister Rishi Sunak for opposing an International Court of Justice application that charged Israel with genocide during the Gaza War.
He claimed the United Kingdom had sustained “reputational damage” in the Middle East.
However, he applauded the government’s recent decision to prohibit belligerent Israeli settlers from entering the United Kingdom.
David Cameron, foreign secretary of the United Kingdom, stated on X last month that settlers accountable for attacks against Palestinians would be prohibited. The decision occurred after the United States announced a comparable strategy.
“This is certainly appreciated,” Mr. Zomlot exclaimed. That was, in my opinion, a momentous occasion—not because of the policy itself, but because the United Kingdom is taking any action regarding sanctions against Israel for the first time in seventy-five years.
Palestinian Critique of UK Policy
Reportedly, settler violence has increased in recent months, particularly since the October 7th, Hamas-led mass attacks on Israel and the subsequent Israeli military campaign in Gaza.
Approximately 700,000 Jewish immigrants reside in 140 settlements throughout the West Bank and East Jerusalem, regions that have been under Israeli occupation since the 1967 Middle East War and are under Palestinian claim for a future state.
The majority of the international community considers the settlements to be unlawful, although Israel disputes this.
Mr. Zomlot, on the other hand, opposed a government measure that would prohibit public entities from engaging in economic boycotts of Israel or Israeli settlements. Last Wednesday, the House of Commons granted the measure its third and final reading; it will now proceed to the House of Lords.
“This is the inconsistency,” Mr. Zomlot stated during a London-based news conference. “Precisely where are you [the USA]? Are you of the opinion that Israel’s occupation of the 1967 borders constituted both a military occupation and colonialism?
“The policy of the United Kingdom is so inconsistent that I am unable to comprehend the question, ‘What is the policy of the United Kingdom regarding Palestine?’ I honestly do not know. Consistent with a contrasting viewpoint.”
UK Accused of Biased Stance
Mr. Zomlot, the Head of the Palestinian Mission to the United Kingdom, also criticized Prime Minister Sunak for rejecting South Africa’s case accusing Israel of genocide at the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
Hearing of the case by the ICJ commenced at the close of last week.
According to a prime ministerial spokesperson, Mr. Sunak regarded the allegation as “wholly unwarranted and incorrect.”
The British government unequivocally supports Israel’s legitimate right to defend itself by international law, according to the spokesman.
Mr. Zomlot argued that the United Kingdom’s stance regarding the South African genocide allegation constituted an attempt to self-appoint international judges, intervention, and interference in the international judicial system.
Concerning Israel and international law, the United Kingdom, he claimed, exhibited “double standards” and “hypocrisy.”
In Gaza, the envoy charged Israel with an “unprecedented humanitarian catastrophe caused by humanity” and urged the international community to demand a cessation of hostilities.
“He stated that nothing can occur before an immediate cessation of hostilities.” Ensuring this remains our utmost priority.
According to the health ministry of Hamas-run Gaza, Israel’s bombardment of Gaza has slain approximately 24,000 people since October 7, with the majority being children and women. Israel declared its intention to destroy Hamas before the organization attacked Israel, which resulted in the deaths of 1,300 people (mostly civilians) and the abduction of 240 others back to Gaza as captives.