Palestinian Ambassador To UK Accuses Britain Of 'Hypocrisy' Over Gaza

Husam Zomlot said the UK had suffered "reputational damage".
Palestinian Ambassador to the UK
Palestinian Ambassador to the UK
Ian Forsyth via Getty Images

The Palestinian ambassador to the UK slammed Britain over its response to the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza, accusing the country of “double standards and hypocrisy”.

Husam Zomlot said the UK, an ally to Israel, was suffering from “reputational damage” across the Middle East as a result.

Zomlot, the head of the Palestinian Mission to the UK, noted how Rishi Sunak opposed South Africa’s case in the International Court of Justice, where Israel was accused of committing genocide.

Sunak’s spokesperson said the PM thought it was a “completely unjustified and wrong” accusation last week, adding: “The UK government stands by Israel’s clear right to defend itself within the framework of international law.”

The Palestinian ambassador claimed this was the UK’s “self-appointment as international judges” and said it was “intervention and interference in the international judicial system”.

Zomlot also slammed a government’s bill – currently in the Lords – banning public bodies from boycotting economic activity with Israel.

However, Zomlot did praise the UK’s decision to ban violent Israeli settlers who attack Palestinians from entering the country, a move announced by foreign secretary David Cameron in December.

The senior envoy said: “In my opinion that was a very significant moment – not because of the policy itself but because this is the first time in 75 years the UK takes any step that has to do with sanctions [on Israel].”

Around 700,000 Jewish settlers live in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Israel denies claims that these are illegal settlements, as it has controlled these areas since 1967, but Palestinians want to claim the same areas for a future state.

These two actions from the UK government led Zomlot to tell London that “this is the inconsistency”.

He continued: “Where are you [the UK] exactly? Do you consider Israel’s occupation of the 1967 borders to be a military occupation and colonisation?

“There is such inconsistency in the UK policy that I... no longer understand if you ask me, ‘What is the is the UK policy vis-a-vis Palestine?’ I don’t know . Inconsistent, contradictory.”

Zomlot called for an “immediate ceasefire” too, saying it was the “top, top priority”.

He accused Israel of an “unprecedented manmade humanitarian disaster” in Gaza and said the international community should call for a ceasefire now.

The UK has acknowledged that the civilian deaths in Gaza and mass displacement “cannot continue”, but has called for a sustainable ceasefire – one built to last rather than one which would start immediately.

The Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza estimates that more than 24,000 people have been killed in the Palestinian territory since October 7.

Israel declared war on Hamas after the Palestinian militants killed 1,200 people on Israeli soil and took 240 others hostage.


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