UK 'complicit in the killing of children' in Gaza claims Scotland's First Minister after UK abstains from ceasefire vote

9 December 2023, 23:35 | Updated: 9 December 2023, 23:52

The UK is 'complicit in the killing of thousands of children,' Scotland's First Minister has claimed after the UK abstained on a United Nations vote for a ceasefire in Gaza.
The UK is 'complicit in the killing of thousands of children,' Scotland's First Minister has claimed after the UK abstained on a United Nations vote for a ceasefire in Gaza. Picture: Alamy

By Christian Oliver

The UK is 'complicit in the killing of thousands of children,' Scotland's First Minister has claimed after the UK abstained on a United Nations vote for a ceasefire in Gaza.

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First Minister Humza Yousaf, who has Palestinian in-laws, said it was "incomprehensible" that the UK abstained from a vote at the UN Security Council.

Writing on X, Mr Yousaf said: "I agree with @savechildrenuk. I find it incomprehensible that the UK did not vote for a ceasefire. How can you choose to be complicit in the killing of thousands of children?

"Shame on the UK Government & Keir Starmer's Labour Party who refuse to back a #CeasefireNow".

The Gaza Genocide Emergency Committee organised protests across Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee and Aberdeen.

It comes after a day of protests across the country, including London and in Scotland, in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Dundee and Aberdeen, calling for a ceasefire in the war-torn region.

Demonstrators held signs reading "ceasefire now", while other marchers carried banners reading "stop the genocide".

Read More: Police arrest 13 as tens of thousands of protesters march through London in support of Gaza ceasefire

Read More: Erdogan accuses West of ‘barbarism’ and Islamophobia over war in Gaza

The UK on Friday chose to abstain on a United Nations resolution demanding an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza.

Thirteen of the 15-member security council voted in favour, but the action was blocked because of Washington's veto.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres had warned of a "humanitarian catastrophe" in Gaza as he urged the nations to demand Israel stops the war.

He argued that Gaza is at "a breaking point", that there is a serious threat of starvation and that there is a risk of "mass displacement into Egypt".

It comes as the Labour Party stepped up its criticism of 'intolerable' killings in Gaza.

The party has called for government ministers to impose travel bans on Israelis responsible for settler violence in the West Bank.

Shadow foreign secretary David Lammy urged the Government to provide greater assistance to humanitarian organisations supporting Palestinians.

Palestinians check the rubble following Israeli strikes on houses in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on Wednesday November 22, 2023. Photo by Ismael Muhammad/UPI Credit: UPI/Alamy Live News
Palestinians check the rubble following Israeli strikes on houses in Rafah in the southern Gaza Strip on Wednesday November 22, 2023. Photo by Ismael Muhammad/UPI Credit: UPI/Alamy Live News. Picture: Alamy

In an article for the Observer, Mr Lammy said that "too often, Israeli authorities have turned a blind eye to settler violence".

He also criticised two hardline Israeli ministers for their "totally unacceptable" support for settlers while promoting "dangerous and extreme rhetoric about Palestinians".

"The UK Government must impose these travel bans now, and provide greater assistance to humanitarian organisations that support Palestinians at risk of forcible transfer," he wrote.

Repeating criticism from leader Sir Keir Starmer, Mr Lammy said that the "death and destruction" in Gaza over the last two months since the Hamas attack has been "intolerable".

The shadow foreign secretary was writing after visiting a Bedouin community in the West Bank, arguing that since the October 7 attack 1,000 Palestinians have been forcibly displaced in the region.

"Illegal settlers do not just steal land and possessions. They snatch the hope of a two-state solution, the only prospect for a lasting peace across Israel and Palestine," he said.

Labour has been deeply divided over the response to Israel's war in the Gaza Strip, with some seeing the leadership as being too uncritical of the government in Tel Aviv.

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