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British government minister quits over Gaza policy

JTA

August 5, 2014 | 10:34 am

<em>Barroness Sayeeda Warsi (credit: ukhomeoffice via Wikimedia Commons)</em>

Barroness Sayeeda Warsi (credit: ukhomeoffice via Wikimedia Commons)

A British government minister — the first Muslim woman to serve in the Cabinet — has resigned over the government’s policy on the Gaza conflict.

Baroness Sayeeda Warsi, senior minister of state at Britain’s Foreign Office and minister for faith and communities, tendered her letter of resignation on Tuesday morning.

“With deep regret I have this morning written to the Prime Minister & tendered my resignation. I can no longer support Govt policy on #Gaza,” Warsi said Tuesday in a tweet.

Warsi, the daughter of Pakistani immigrants, became a member of the House of Lords in 2007. She was named Conservative Party co-chair by David Cameron after the 2010 general election, and her current positions, considered a demotion, were part of a 2012 Cabinet reshuffle.

She said in an interview with the Huffington Post UK published hours after her resignation that the British government had failed to act as an “honest broker” in the Middle East.

“The British government can only play a constructive role in solving the Middle East crisis if it is an honest broker, and at the moment I do not think it is,” Warsi said.

She reportedly is unhappy at the failure of the British prime minister to unequivocally condemn Israel’s Gaza ground operation or the Palestinian death toll.

Warsi said in her resignation letter, which also was published on Twitter, that “our approach and language during the current crisis in Gaza is morally indefensible, is not in Britain’s national interest and will have a long term detrimental impact on our reputation.”

She told the Huffington Post that she also resigned because she wants to see those accused of committing war crimes on both sides of the Gaza conflict punished in the international arena.

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