In a recent statement, Palestinian Minister of Foreign Affairs and Expatriats, H.E. Dr Riad Malki, has condemned UK foreign secretary, Boris Johnson’s speech at the Human Rights Council. Boris Johnson accused the body of being biased towards Israel, criticising an item on the agenda focusing on Human Rights violations in the West Bank and Gaza strip as “disproportionate and damaging to the cause of peace”.
The vice president of the UK’s Jewish Board of Deputies, Sheila Gewolb, said that Israel was being ‘singled out’. Israel, Australia and USA also made statements saying that countries with worse rights records haven’t been scrutinized by the Council.
Riad Malki condemned Boris Johnson’s comments as “regrettable”, adding that they “will only embolden Israel, the occupying Power, to commit more egregious violations against the human rights of the Palestinian people”. He believes the focus on Israel is justified because they have “systematically shown abject disregard for the human rights of the Palestinian people by methodically defying UN resolutions, as well as failing to implement recommendations by treaty bodies and denying access and assistance to UN missions and special procedures.”
He called on the international commmunity, in particular the UK to “end the double talk and double standard that has consistently put Israel above accountability” and do more to fulfill their “permanent and historic responsibility towards the Question of Palestine” and “ensure that international human rights standards are respected and enforced in Palestine”. He recofirmed his belief in the “urgency of renewed, structured and substantial efforts towards peace” but asserted that this does not “contradict but in fact compliment the required steps to confront violations of human rights and seek to halt illegal practices on the ground.”