The UK’s Minister for the Middle East, Alistair Burt issued a statement after numerous Palestinians were killed and injured in Gaza and the West Bank in protests that erupted after the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem.
The violence today in Gaza and the West Bank has been shocking. The loss of life and the large number of injured Palestinians is tragic, and it is extremely worrying that the number of those killed continues to rise.
Such violence is destructive to peace efforts. We have been clear that the UK supports the Palestinians’ right to protest, but these protests must be peaceful.
It is deplorable that extremist elements may have been seeking to exploit these protests for their own violent purposes. We will not waver from our support for Israel’s right to defend its borders. But the large volume of live fire is extremely concerning. We continue to implore Israel to show greater restraint.
The UK remains committed to a two-state solution with Jerusalem as a shared capital. All sides now need to show real leadership and courage, promote calm, refrain from inflaming tensions further, and show with renewed urgency that the path to a two-state solution is through negotiation and peace.