A Conservative member of the United Kingdom‘s parliament accused Israel of killing Palestinian children in military operations this year.
Paul Bristow, Tory representative for Peterborough, made the comments on Tuesday to the House of Commons during a foreign questions session.
“In 2023, dozens of Palestinian children have been killed in Israeli military operations,” Bristow said in an address to U.K. Foreign Minister David Rutley.
“We should never become immune to those deaths, and the tragedy of those deaths,” Bristow continued. “Will the minister agree with me, and urge the Israeli government to show compassion and restraint and urge all sides to put respect for human life first?”
The National Jewish Assembly issued a statement objecting to Bristow’s remarks about Israel.
“Conservative MP Paul Bristow’s comments are highly misleading and give the erroneous impression that the Israeli army is deliberately targeting so-called children. The truth is that the young people who have died are members of Palestinian terrorist factions, who carry weapons with the intention of killing Israelis. While all deaths are tragic, these are happening in the context of self-defense,” said National Jewish Assembly chairman Gary Mond.
“It is essential to note that the so-called ‘children’ mentioned by Mr. Bristow are, by and large, teenagers who are fully-fledged members of Palestinian terrorist organizations. Israel, like any sovereign state, has the right and responsibility to protect its citizens from terrorist militants and maintain security in the face of ongoing threats,” he added.
In its statement, the NJA also criticized a series of remarks about Israel made by Rutley during Tuesday’s exchange in the House of Commons.
“The NJA urges MPs and public figures to engage in informed and responsible discussions, rather than to perpetuate false narratives. Accusing Israel without proper evidence and disregarding the complexity of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict undermines the prospects for meaningful dialogue and a just resolution.”