News / Europe

UK Minister Quits Over Britain's Gaza Policy

FILE - Britain's Chairman of the Conservative party Sayeeda Warsi speaks on the opening day of the Conservative party conference in Birmingham, England.
FILE - Britain's Chairman of the Conservative party Sayeeda Warsi speaks on the opening day of the Conservative party conference in Birmingham, England.
VOA News

A British minister resigned on Tuesday, citing the government's position in the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, now in its fourth week.

In a resignation letter posted on social media, Sayeeda Warsi called the U.K.'s policy on Gaza "morally indefensible."

She wrote, "Our approach ... in Gaza is morally indefensible, is not in Britain's national interest and will have a long-term detrimental impact on our reputation internationally and domestically."

A Conservative and the country's first Muslim cabinet member, Warsi served as Senior Minister of State and Minister for Faith and Communities.

Pressure has been on Prime Minister David Cameron and his coalition government to take a harder stance against Israel after the Gaza conflict, which has killed more than 1,800 Palestinians, many of them civilians, and 67 Israeli soldiers and civilians in nearly a month of fighting.

Critic of prime minister

Labour leader Ed Miliband last week accused Cameron of "inexplicable" silence over the suffering of Palestinian civilians in Gaza.

"What I want to hear from David Cameron is that he believes that Israel's actions in Gaza are wrong and unjustified, and we haven't heard that from him," Miliband said.

In a statement from Downing Street on Tuesday, the prime minister said he regretted Warsi's decision, adding that the government's policy is "consistently clear."

"The situation in Gaza is intolerable and we’ve urged both sides to agree to an immediate and unconditional cease-fire," the statement read.

Warsi had commented on a near-daily basis about the Gaza conflict on Twitter since fighting began in earnest last month.

"Can people stop trying to justify the killing of children? Whatever our politics there can never be justification, surely only regret," the former minister wrote on July 24.

In an interview with The Huffington Post United Kingdom after her resignation, Warsi said that "as the minister for the International Criminal Court, I’ve spent the last two-and-a-half years helping to promote, support and fund the ICC. I felt I could not reconcile this with our continued pressure on the Palestinian leadership not to turn to the ICC to seek justice."

On Tuesday, Palestinian Foreign Minister Riad al-Malki met with International Criminal Court prosecutors at The Hague to push for an investigation into war crimes allegations in the Gaza conflict.

The Palestinian Authority is not a member of the court, but al-Malki said he had met with prosecutors to discuss a timeline to join the ICC.

You May Like

How to Safeguard Your Mobile Privacy

As the digital world becomes more mobile, so too do concerns about eroding privacy and increased hacking More

'Desert Dancer' Chronicles Iranian Underground Dance Troupe

Film by Richard Raymond is based on true story of Afshin Ghaffarian and his friends More

Obesity Poses Complex Problem

Professor warns of obesity’s worldwide health impact More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Hassan
August 06, 2014 10:37 AM
An what about the countless thousands killed in Syria and the refugee crisis, Have you condemned the Syrian Government?

by: walw from: Nigeria
August 06, 2014 4:48 AM
why didn't you talk to your brothers in Gaza. why don't you tell them to respect civilian lives in both Israel and Gaza

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam Wari
X
Katherine Gypson
May 25, 2015 1:32 AM
For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Rolling Thunder Run Reveals Changed Attitudes Towards Vietnam War

For many US war veterans, the Memorial Day holiday is an opportunity to look back at a divisive conflict in the nation’s history and to remember those who did not make it home.
Video

Video Female American Soldiers: Healing Through Filmmaking

According to the United States Defense Department, there are more than 200-thousand women serving in the U.S. Armed Forces.  Like their male counterparts, females have experiences that can be very traumatic.  VOA's Bernard Shusman tells us about a program that is helping some American women in the military heal through filmmaking.
Video

Video Iowa Family's Sacrifice Shaped US Military Service for Generations

Few places in America have experienced war like Waterloo. This small town in the Midwest state of Iowa became famous during World War II not for what it accomplished, but what it lost. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the legacy of one family’s sacrifice is still a reminder today of the real cost of war for all families on the homefront.
Video

Video On Film: How Dance Defies Iran's Political Oppression

'Desert Dancer' by filmmaker Richard Raymond is based on the true story of a group of young Iranians, who form an underground dance troupe in the Islamic Republic of Iran. This is the latest in a genre of films that focus on dance as a form of freedom of expression against political oppression and social injustice. VOA’s Penelope Poulou has more.
Video

Video Turkey's Ruling Party Trying to Lure Voters in Opposition Stronghold

Turkey’s AK (Justice and Development) Party is seeking a fourth successive general election victory, with the goal of securing two-thirds of the seats in Parliament to rewrite the constitution and change the country's parliamentary system into a presidential one. To achieve that, the party will need to win seats in opposition strongholds like the western city of Izmir. Dorian Jones reports.
Video

Video Millions Flock to Ethiopia Polls

Millions of Ethiopians cast their votes Sunday in the first national election since the 2012 death of longtime leader Meles Zenawi. Mr. Meles' party, the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front, is almost certain of victory again. VOA's Anita Powell reports from Addis Ababa.
Video

Video Scientists Testing Space Propulsion by Light

Can the sun - the heart of our solar system - power a spacecraft to the edge of our solar system? The answer may come from a just-launched small satellite designed to test the efficiency of solar sail propulsion. Once deployed, its large sail will catch the so-called solar wind and slowly reach what scientists hope to be substantial speed. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video FIFA Trains Somali Referees

As stability returns to the once lawless nation of Somalia, the world football governing body, FIFA, is helping to rebuild the country’s sport sector by training referees as well as its young footballers. Abdulaziz Billow has more from Mogadishu.
Video

Video With US Child Obesity Rates on the Rise, Program Promotes Health Eating

In its fifth year, FoodCorps puts more than 180 young Americans into 500 schools across the United States, where they focus on teaching students about nutrition, engaging them with hands-on activities, and improving their access to healthy foods whether in the cafeteria or the greater community. Aru Pande has more.
Video

Video Virginia Neighborhood Draws People to Nostalgic Main Street

In the U.S., people used to grow up in small towns with a main street lined by family-owned shops and restaurants. Today, however, many main streets are worn down and empty because shoppers have been lured away by shopping malls. But in the Del Ray neighborhood of Alexandria, Virginia, main street is thriving. VOA’s Deborah Block reports it has a nostalgic feel with its small restaurants and unique stores.

VOA Blogs