Tulip Siddiq, the Labour MP for Hampstead and Kilburn, has said it should “not be forgotten” that one of the key demands of protesters on the Hamas-led demonstrations in Gaza was for the right of Palestinians to return to the their former homes in Israel.
In a statement Ms Siddiq described the actions of the Israeli military during Monday’s violent demonstrations on the Gaza border as “unjustified” and “inhumane”.
But the MP also appeared to lend her support to the goals of the so-called March of Return demonstrations, saying: “The protest has been twofold - to highlight the shocking conditions which Palestinians are forced to live in and to demand their right to return to their homes.
“These issues should not be forgotten in the carnage which is now unfolding.”
Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh has pledged to carry on the protests until the Palestinians return to “all of Palestine”.
Last month he said: “We will break the walls of the blockade, remove the occupation entity and return to all of Palestine.”
Gaza leaders planned the series of demonstrations to coincide with Israel’s 70th Independence Day, the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem, and ‘Nakba Day’.
Ms Siddiq, who issued the statement ahead of a meeting of her local Labour Party, said: “I condemn without reservation these violations of international law and human rights by Israel.
“The international community should immediately act together to demand an end to the senseless killing, the bullets and the tear gas, and to urge a halt to the bloodshed.
“I dearly hope that this violence does not continue over the coming days, and I will be monitoring the situation closely.
“I have written to the Foreign Secretary to raise the plight of the killed protesters and will share your thoughts when I have an opportunity.”
Her remarks did not include any condemnation of Hamas terror attacks.
Ms Siddiq is vice-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on British Jews and has condemned antisemitism in the Labour Party.
Speaking to the JC, Ms Siddiq said she had not intended for the comments regarding Monday’s violence to be released by her local Labour Party branch as a statement.
She revealed she had been responding to a specific email she had been sent asking for her to condemn the deaths of Palestinians on the Gaza border – and that this was then used by a Hampstead and Kilburn branch official as an official statement.
Ms Siddiq said: "I was only responding to one specific question that was sent to me by some activists which asked if I would condemn the terrible loss of life on Monday.
“It was not intended to be used as a statement by anyone afterwards.
“I have made my thoughts on Hamas very clear in the past and I have said they are a terror organisation."
Ms Siddiq added that her email response reflected specific questions she had been asked in the email – rather than her wider view which would have been more balanced.