Reverse UK decision on Hamas – says Palestinian Ambassador Dr Husam Zomlot

DR HUSAM ZOMLOT speaking at the Downing Street rally in June, during the Justice for Palestine event

THE PALESTINIAN Mission to the United Kingdom condemned the British government’s decision to designate the political wing of the Hamas movement a ‘terrorist organisation’, and described it as a retrograde step that will make peace-making harder and diminish the UK’s role.

The decision showed that the UK was more interested in adopting an Israeli zero-sum policy than in its historical responsibility for and relationship with Palestine, or in promoting efforts to reach a just and sustainable peace.

‘With this move, the British government has complicated Palestinian unity efforts and undermined Palestinian democracy,’ the Mission said in a statement.

‘It is a retrograde and one-sided step that will do nothing for efforts to secure a peaceful two state outcome, an outcome that is being undermined every day by Israeli war crimes, including its illegal colonial settlement project in occupied territory.’

Once again there is one rule for Israel and one rule for the Palestinian side.

‘The State of Palestine has consistently pursued a peaceful strategy, including by appealing to international bodies like the International Criminal Court and the UN’s Human Rights Council. In these efforts, we have also been consistently dissuaded by the UK and others,’ the statement continued.

‘The Palestinian side has been asking the world to implement international law equally on all sides, and to provide international protection for the Palestinian people suffering under a belligerent and violent Israeli military occupation.

‘Israel’s transgressions of international law, international legitimacy and international human rights law are well known, including to the British government.

‘How it is that Israel still suffers no consequences after decades of violations and war crimes, while the Palestinian side is constantly taken to task, beggars belief and shows that the current UK government is simply not serious about a fair solution.’

His Excellency Dr Husam Zomlot, the head of the Palestinian Mission to the UK, urged the UK government to reconsider its decision and to adopt a more even-handed approach if it is to play a positive role in peace-making efforts.

Ismail Patel, Chair of Friends of Al-Aqsa (FOA) said, ‘by designating a political group Hamas as terrorist, Priti Patel has undermined the British Government from being an honest broker in the Middle East. Her decision aligns the UK with the Israeli occupation and apartheid policies.

‘It will allow Israel to continue with occupation, human rights abuses and appropriation of more Palestinian territory.’

‘By making the declaration in Washington, Priti Patel has undermined the authority of House of Commons and exposes her decision to be political rather than based on security or proportionality,’ added Ismail Patel.