UK criticizes Israel killing of Palestinian civilians

London, Jan 5, IRNA , The British government has broken its silence over continuing Israeli raids into Gaza since the signing of the Annapolis agreement in the US in November, chastising the latest killings of Palestinian civilians.

“The deaths and injury of a number of Palestinian civilians as a result of recent Israeli military incursions into Gaza risks undermining efforts to build confidence and give momentum to the peace process following Anna Polis,” Foreign Office Minister Kim Howells warned.

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But his statement stopped short of direct condemnation of the Israeli regime after the reported killing of some 55 Palestinians in recent weeks, with Howells calling on the Israeli army to only “exercise restraint and avoid harming civilians.”
He also counter balanced his criticism with a warning against the firing of rockets in retaliation to Israel, saying “relevant parties in Gaza should do their utmost to stop rocket firing.”
“Our thoughts are with the families of all the victims of this violence,” the junior minister added
“We remain gravely concerned by the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip and are doing what we can to alleviate the situation,” he also said.

The written statement, which notably did not come from Foreign ecretary David Miliband, comes after at least nine Palestinians, ncluding five members of a family, were killed during Israeli tank and helicopter attacks in Gaza on Thursday.