Press Releases

PRESS RELEASE : Condemning Hamas’ terrorism should not be controversial – UK at the UN General Assembly [October 2023]

The press release issued by the Foreign Office on 27 October 2023.

UK statement following the UN General Assembly vote on the Jordanian draft resolution on the situation in Gaza, Friday 27 October 2023.

The UK abstained on the Jordanian-drafted resolution.

We welcome the draft’s call for all parties to respect International Humanitarian Law, including the protection of civilians, for the immediate release of hostages and for full and sustained humanitarian access.

These are UK priorities and we have been working tirelessly with partners to achieve these on the ground, including the UK Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary’s engagements with Egypt to open the Rafah crossing to get aid to the Palestinian people.

We are proud to have pledged an additional $37 million in UK aid to help civilians in Gaza since the beginning of the crisis. The UK Prime Minister has been clear that we recognise the need for humanitarian pauses to deliver this aid safely and in a sustained way.

We also welcome the draft’s emphasis on preventing regional escalation of the conflict. It is in no-one’s interest for this conflict to spread.

However, we are deeply disappointed with the draft’s omission of an unequivocal condemnation of Hamas’ terrorist attacks that killed over 1,400 people and took over 200 hostages last week. This should not be controversial.

That is why we voted in favour of the Canadian amendment which would have corrected this.

But we cannot vote for a resolution that is silent on the largest terror attack in Israel’s history.

Hamas has embedded itself in civilian populations, is still holding civilians hostage, and firing rockets at Israel while using Palestinians as human shields. It is clear that Israel is under attack by terrorists and is entitled under international law to defend itself. Any resolution on the situation in Gaza and Israel should be unequivocal on that too.

This is why we abstained on this resolution.

We will continue to work closely with Israel, Palestine, the UN and our partners in the region to respond to the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. To ensure that civilians are protected and have access to food, water, medicine, and shelter. And to work towards the peace and stability which can only be achieved by working towards a sustainable Two State Solution.