Strike on Gaza during Pillar of Defense (archives)
Photo: AFP
Israel's human rights record 'concerns' UK
Four-page entry on Israel in Foreign Office's quarterly report focuses on Operation Pillar of Defense in Gaza, settlement expansion. The Telegraph says Criticism will 'unsettle Jewish State'

Britain has included Israel on a list of 28 countries whose human rights record is of "concern" to the government, The Telegraph reported on Friday.


In a quarterly report published on Thursday, Israel sits in the company of Afghanistan, Belarus, Iran and Zimbabwe – countries the foreign office considers to have a human rights record "of particular concern," according to The Telegraph.


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The Palestinian Authority is also included, the British newspaper said, although it is noted that Israel's refusal to deliver Palestinian customs revenue has undermined the Palestinian leadership's ability to enforce law and order.


According to the report, the four-page entry on Israel focuses on November's Operation Pillar of Defense in Gaza and recently announced plans to expand Israel's settler presence in the West Bank.


The Telegraph said the criticism will "unsettle the Jewish State, which proudly boasts it is the only

democracy in the Middle East, and considers the UK an ally amid an increasingly critical Europe."


About a month ago Human Rights Watch published a report saying Palestinian armed groups had violated the laws of war during the November conflict by launching hundreds of rockets toward population centers in Israel.


According to the IDF, some 1,500 rockets were fired at Israel during Operation Pillar of Defense. At least 800 struck Israel, including 60 that hit populated areas.



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