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UK Palestinian embassy sees surge in attacks, vandalism

Palestinian diplomatic mission in London sees surge in attacks, criticises UK govt inaction
3 min read
21 November, 2023
Saturday's attack on the Palestinian mission in London is the fourth to occur in recent weeks, amid increased threats on Palestinian embassies, personnel and families since October 7.
Palestinian embassies have been attacked worldwide, including London, despite significant public support for Gaza [Getty/file photo]

The Palestinian embassy in London said that it has been the subject of increased attacks in recent weeks, criticising the UK government's inaction over the incidents.

The mission said it was attacked late on Saturday, sharing CCTV footage of an unidentified individual wearing a helmet, spraying the building with a substance.

In the video clip, the act of vandalism goes unchallenged, due to the lack of security outside the building.

In a statement on X, the mission said the incident was the fourth of its kind recent weeks, in the aftermath of Israel’s indiscriminate bombing in Gaza ongoing since October 7, which has so far killed at least 14,128 Palestinians, most of them women and children.

Additionally, the Palestinian embassy stated that employees have received death threats, while perpetrators have repeatedly vandalised and damaged property and vehicles.

The Palestine Mission in the UK stressed that it had reported the incidents to the British police. It said that the Palestinian Authority (PA) had requested diplomatic protection for staff at the building, adding that it holds the British government responsible for the safety of Palestinian ambassador Husam Zomlot, other members of staff and their families.

In its statement, the Palestinian Mission went on to lambast the UK government for failing to provide such protection, despite being obliged to do so under international norms.

"The lack of of any action by the British government, ignoring Palestinian rights and concerns, is inexplicable and unacceptable," they said.

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Zomlot has urged for a ceasefire in Gaza and an end to Israeli occupation, and has criticised Western media for its coverage of the ongoing onslaught in Gaza, where indiscriminate Israeli strikes kill hundreds of Palestinians every day.

The New Arab has contacted ambassador Zomlot for comment.

Since October 7, Israeli bombardment has damaged or destroyed almost half of the housing units in the Gaza Strip. Israel has also placed Gaza under a complete siege, depriving residents from water, fuel and food.

Attacks on the Palestinian Mission in London come as the UK capital has witnessed a surge in Islamophobic attacks following the war in Gaza, according to the Metropolitan Police. Antisemitic incidents have also increased significantly since October 7, the police said.

Several Palestinian missions around the world have been attacked and vandalised, the PA said earlier this month.

London has also been the site of weekly pro-Palestinian protests, drawing in hundreds of thousands of people every Saturday.

ounter-protests by pro-Israeli activists and the far-right have also been held, while Downing Street has rejected calls for a ceasefire, and has maintained its stance on Israel's "right to self-defence."