I am writing regarding the unacceptable comments made by the Ambassador of Israel to the United Kingdom, Tzipi Hotovely, on LBC Radio on 3rd January 2024.
During the interview with presenter Ian Dale, she was asked whether her comments that “every school, mosque and every second house has access to tunnels and ammunition” constituted a call for destruction of the whole of Gaza to which the ambassador replied by asking “do you have another solution?” implying assent.
This latest comment on LBC is just the latest in a litany of inflammatory remarks made by the ambassador, some of which could be interpreted as a call for genocide. The fact that they occur against the backdrop of well evidenced indiscriminate mass destruction perpetuated by the IDF, and formal allegations of ethnic cleansing, renders them all the more disturbing.
Ambassador Hotovely’s remarks follow a number of statements made by several Israeli government ministers openly calling for and endorsing plans for ethnic cleansing in Gaza.
Since October 7th, over 22,500 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza including thousands of children, a number which is almost certainly an underestimate as many remain unaccounted for beneath the rubble. A recent report highlighted that almost 70% of homes have been destroyed while aid agencies and humanitarian organisations have said that famine is widespread throughout the Strip. There is clearly a massive humanitarian disaster happening in Gaza.
The United Kingdom (UK) has a duty to uphold obligations under various relevant international laws and take immediate action to prevent further harm in Gaza.
Given the deteriorating situation and statements by the Israeli officials, I am calling on you to:
- Work with international partners to secure an immediate ceasefire and the release of Israeli hostages.
- Suspend arms exports in line with our obligations under international law.
- Speak with Israeli counterparts to make it clear that the UK condemns any suggestion of forcibly removing Palestinians from Gaza.
- Summon Ambassador Hotovely and taking the strongest possible action in response to her comments on LBC and to make it clear that that the UK denounces any call for genocide or ethnic cleansing.
Marsha de Cordova
Member of Parliament for Battersea