Cowardly Silence: Rishi Sunak Challenged Over UK’s Response to Gaza Atrocities
Rishi Sunak faces growing demands to openly condemn Israel’s actions in Gaza as war crimes, following the killing of a Palestinian man carrying a white flag.
During Prime Minister’s Questions, SNP MP Stephen Flynn challenged Sunak over recent ITV footage showing Israeli forces fatally shooting 51-year-old Ramzi Abu Sahloul in a supposed Gaza “safe zone.” Flynn insisted this constituted a clear war crime.
Stephen Flynn said: “Last night as Tory MPs were once again fighting amongst themselves the public were sat at home watching John Irvine of ITV News report on footage from Gaza of an unarmed Palestinian man, walking under a white flag, being shot and killed by the IDF. Prime Minister, such an act constitutes a war crime, does it not?”
In response Sunak said “international humanitarian law should be respected, and civilians should be protected” but Flynn pushed further, adding: “I don’t think it’s unreasonable to ask the PM of the United Kingdom to rise to that dispatch box and tell the people of these isles and elsewhere, that shooting an unarmed man walking under a white flag is a war crime.
Flynn pressed further, arguing reasonable people expect the UK Prime Minister to plainly call such unlawful killings a war crime. Again, Sunak sidestepped the question, merely reiterating the need for an immediate ceasefire.
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Neither the Prime Minister nor Labour leader Keir Starmer offered outright condemnation of this potential atrocity. Their silence speaks volumes, evading firm stances to avoid jeopardising relations with Israel.
But Israel’s bloody three-month bombardment of Gaza demands speaking truth to power, not muted pragmatism. Over 25,000 Palestinian have been killed in a little over 100 days while many thousands sheltering in declared “safe zones” have been killed by relentless Israeli strikes in this genocidal onslaught.
As the civilian death toll mounts, Israel’s actions necessitate accountability, not tepid diplomacy. Political leaders must demonstrate courage to uphold international law and human rights.
The world is watching for moral clarity from those elected to represent our shared values. Equivocation and cowardly silence make accomplices of us all. If Sunak lacks the conviction to denounce documented war crimes, his words ring hollow indeed.
Israeli authorities have said they intend to continue bombing Gaza for several more months.