Britain 'Concerned' by Israel's Use of Force

Britain’s Foreign Office condemns ongoing terror wave, but also calls out Israel for using force to quell Arab riots.

Elad Benari ,

Scene of Raanana stabbing attack
Scene of Raanana stabbing attack
Arthur Finkelstein

Britain’s Foreign Office on Tuesday night joined in the condemnations of the ongoing terror wave in Israel.

In a statement, Minister Tobias Ellwood condemned Tuesday’s attacks, but also called out Israel for using force in response and urged both sides - Israelis and Palestinians - to “de-escalate the situation”.

“We condemn the terrorist attacks in Jerusalem on 13 October which have resulted in the deaths of a number of Israeli citizens, as well as other attacks which have left multiple innocent civilians wounded,” Ellwood said.

“We are also concerned by the use of force by Israeli security personnel in response to protests and security incidents, which has resulted in several deaths and thousands of injuries,” he added.

“We urge all parties to refrain from violence, and encourage Israeli and Palestinian leaders to actively de-escalate the situation and avoid measures which could further fuel tensions,” the statement concluded.

On Tuesday morning, two Israelis were killed as two terrorists attacked passengers with knives and a gun on a bus in Jerusalem's Armon Hanatziv neighborhood. 

In a separate attack, also in Jerusalem, another Israeli was killed when an Arab terrorist and Bezeq employee drove his company car into a crowd of Jews at a bus stop then jumped out with a knife.

Five other Israelis were also wounded in two stabbing attacks in Ra'anana, a city in the Sharon region north of Tel Aviv. 

Ellwood’s comments came hours after a similar statement by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who urged Israel to carry out a "serious review" on whether its security forces are resorting to "excessive force" in clashes with Palestinians.

Ban finds "the apparent excessive use of force by Israeli security forces" to be "troubling," his spokesman Stephane Dujarric told reporters as violence continued in Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

Unlike Ellwood’s statement, however, Ban’s comments did not include a condemnation of the terrorist attacks against Israelis.