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‘If I lived in #Gaza would I fire a rocket' UK politician roasted for anti-Israel tweet

Published time: July 23, 2014 11:52
Edited time: July 25, 2014 09:50
‎David Ward (Photo from facebook.com/davidwardmp)

‎David Ward (Photo from facebook.com/davidwardmp)

​A British politician has been reported to the police under the terrorism act, after making ‘vile’ comments on Twitter about Israel’s offensive in Gaza.

David Ward, a Liberal Democrat MP, tweeted on Tuesday that he would fire rockets into Israel if he was a Palestinian.

"The big question is - if I lived in #Gaza would I fire a rocket? - probably yes," he tweeted.

In a follow-up message, he wrote ""Ich bin ein #palestinian - the West must make up its mind - which side is it on?"

Conservative MP Nadhim Zahawi has written to Metropolitan Police, calling for an investigation into Mr Ward’s actions “as a matter of urgency.”

The remarks were immediately condemned by other MPs, including the Conservative party chairman Grant Shapps, who referred to it as an “incitement to violence” and “completely irresponsible.”

The Labour Party also hit out, saying Ward’s comments were counterproductive to achieving peace in the region.

“At a time when all sides should be working for a ceasefire and a peaceful settlement, it defies belief that a Liberal Democrat MP should tweet something so vile and irresponsible," a Labour Party spokesman said.

Following complaints against Ward, the Liberal Democrats issued a statement saying it “utterly condemned” the remarks, stating they did not represent the party’s views.

The spokesman added that Ward will be subject to disciplinary hearings in due course, and may permanently be expelled from the party.

Following the tweets, Ward told BBC Radio 5 on Wednesday that he condemned violence on both sides, but could “understand the plight of the people firing rockets.”

“The question is why would they [Israel Defense Forces] want to fire missiles when they know that the missiles will result in further Palestinian deaths, to a disproportionate level? Why are they doing it?

"They are doing it because they are absolutely desperate and politicians in the West are failing them."

This will be the second disciplinary probe that Mr. Ward faces. He was temporarily suspended by the party in July last year after he called Israel an ‘apartheid state’ and refused to apologize.

Ward’s comments came as UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon urged the Israelis and Palestinians to stop fighting, and resume negotiations for a ceasefire.

British Prime Minister David Cameron has urged Israel to show ‘restraint’ in its offensive, but asserted it had a ‘right to defend’ itself against Hamas rocket attacks.

Since the conflict began 14 days ago, 30 Israelis and more than 600 Palestinians have been killed, most of whom were civilians.

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