UK Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak has called Hamas attack on Israel a pogrom.
Speaking in the Commons, Sunak stated that at least six Britons were among those killed, and a further 10 are missing.
He noted that some of those missing are likely to be dead.
“The attacks in Israel last weekend shocked the world. Over 1400 people murdered one by one. Over 3500 wounded. Almost 200 taken hostage. The elderly men, women, children, babes in arms, murdered, mutilated, burned alive. We should call it by its name. It was a pogrom.”Rishi Sunak
The government has been helping Britons leave Israel he said, adding that eight flights have removed 500 people.
Sunak said that he had a message for the Jewish community in the UK; “We stand with you now and always.”
He also said he recognised this is a moment of “great anguish” for British Muslim communities who are “appalled” by what Hamas did, and fearful of the response. The government will listen to their concerns, he added.
Sunak said when Israel goes after Hamas, it should do so in line with international, humanitarian law.
“As a friend, we will continue to call on Israel to take every possible precaution to avoid harming civilians. I repeat President Biden’s words: as democracies we are stronger and more secure when we act according to the rule of law.”Rishi Sunak
Moreover, Sunak highlighted three things the UK government was doing.
It was deploying RAF aircraft and the Royal Navy to stop the supply of further arms to the region and to help with the humanitarian effort, he said.
He said the government was increasing the spending on humanitarian aid by £10m.
Sunak itearated that British diplomacy would be doing what it could “to sustain the prospects of peace and stability in the region.”
He said he had spoken to Mahmoud Abbas, the leader of the Palestinian Authority, earlier.
ICJP Issues Notice To Labour Party Leaders
The International Centre of Justice for Palestinians (ICJP), a legal non-profit based in the United Kingdom, has issued a notice to leaders of the British Labour Party of its intention to prosecute “any UK politician for their complicity in war crimes in Gaza”.
“In light of the catastrophic situation currently unfolding in Gaza, and clear evidence that Israel has committed war crimes and is on the verge of committing mass atrocity crimes in Gaza, this letter raises and highlights concerning statements from members of the Labour Party expressing complete and unequivocal support for Israel, and for an unconditional right to defence, without demanding that Israel’s actions are carried out in full compliance with international law (and particularly in accordance with the principles of proportionality, distinction and precaution for Gazan civilians), and without acknowledging and condemning the war crimes and crimes against humanity already committed against the civilian population in Gaza since 7 October 2023”International Centre of Justice for Palestinians (ICJP)
The ICJP added that the notice was provided to the Labour Party leadership in order to “emphasise that under international criminal law and its jurisprudence on individual criminal responsibility, support provided to perpetrators of international crimes can be investigated and prosecuted by the International Criminal Court and third States under the principles of Universal Jurisdiction.”
Last week, Labour leader, Keir Starmer and Emily Thornberry, the party’s Shadow Attorney General for England and Wales, spoke out in defence of Israel’s withholding of food, water and electricity to Gaza, justifying it based on “Israel’s right to defend itself.”
Starmer later retracted his endorsement of Israel’s total siege on Gaza, which is illegal under international law.