Foreign Office Minister Resigns Over Gaza

Foreign Office Minister Baroness Warsi has resigned delivering a damning verdict on David Cameron’s failure to take firmer action on Gaza.

Lady Warsi said in her resignation letter that the Government’s “approach and language” during the month-long conflict in Gaza has been “morally indefensible”.

In a caustic appraisal of Mr Cameron’s policy on the Middle East Peace Process she says it has caused significant damage to Britain’s international standing.

Her resignation is serious blow to the Government and the Tories and will intensify pressure on David Cameron to be firmer in his condemnation of Israel as the bloody conflict nears its first month.

Lady Warsi is considered an asset to the Tories and has been a prominent member of David Cameron’s Government, becoming the first Muslim to sit in the Cabinet. She was Conservative Party chairman and played a large part in the 2010 campaign.

She wrote in her resignation letter: “My view has been that our policy in relation to the Middle East Peace Process generally but more recently our approach and language during the current crisis 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.”

She announced her departure on Twitter, where she has been increasingly vocal in her condemnation of Israel’s actions. Eleven days ago she wrote: “Can people stop trying to justify the killing of children. Whatever our politics there can never be justification, surely only regret #Gaza”.

It follows Mr Cameron’s failure on Monday to back the United Nations’ position over the shelling of a UN-run school where Palestinian refugees were sheltering from the violence, killing at least 10 people.

The UN Secretary General Ban-Ki-moon called the attack “a moral outrage and a criminal act”. When asked, Mr Cameron would say only that it was “an appalling loss of life”.

There has also been increasing criticism over the 42m of arms exports licences British defence manufacturers have with Israel since 2010 to supply ammunition, drones and armoured vehicles.

The equipment has been used in the attacks on Gaza and the Government has agreed to review the licences.

However, when quizzed on whether continuing to supply weapons to Israel was morally right, International Development SecretaryJustine Greening told Sky News: “Israel has the right to defend itself.”

Shadow foreign secretary Douglas Alexander said: “Most reasonably minded people across Britain will agree with the sentiments expressed by Baroness Warsi in her resignation statement today.

“It is a sad reflection of the Prime Minister’s misjudgment of the crisis in Gaza that this capable minister has felt the need to leave the Government.”

The number of Palestinians killed in “Operation Protective Edge” – Israel’s action against Hamas in Gaza – has reached 1,800, most of whom have been civilians. Around 66 Israelis have died, most of whom have been soldiers.

Lady Warsi also took the opportunity in her letter to Mr Cameron to deliver a highly critical appraisal of his recent reshuffle saying that in recent weeks the “experience and expertise” of Dominic Grieve and Ken Clarke had been “very apparent”.

Both had opposed Tory plans to limit the power of the European Court Of Human Rights in the UK in a move which could see Britain expelled from the Council of Europe which upholds the European Convention on Human Rights.

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5 August 2014 | 10:16 am – Source:

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