Foreign Secretary William Hague suggested today that Britain will abstain in Friday's UN vote to upgrade Palestine's diplomatic status to a "non-member observer."
The vote is seen as an important step on Palestine's road to statehood.
But Mr Hague told MPs today that Britain won't back Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's bid unless he agrees to unconditional peace talks with Israel and promises not to try to join the International Criminal Court.
Doing so could pave the way for Palestinians to bring war crimes charges against Israeli officials.
Palestine Solidarity Campaign activists said Mr Hague's stance was "shameful."
Spokeswoman Sara Apps told the Morning Star: "It's shameful that Mr Hague is trying to put conditions on Palestine to prevent them from holding Israel to account for its war crimes.
"It's about time Britain realised its historic responsibility" to advocate for the Palestinians' human rights.
"Israel breaks international law every single day of the year."
The vote is likely to pass regardless of how Britain votes as most UN member states already recognise Palestine, which has led MPs to heavily criticise Mr Hague.
Labour MPs accused him of "classic double standards" and offering Palestine "all the support short of actual support."
Shadow foreign secretary Douglas Alexander said abstaining on Friday "would be an abdication of Britain's responsibilities.
"When will the Foreign Secretary understand that statehood for the Palestinians is not a gift to be given, but a right to be acknowledged?"
He told Mr Hague "not to dither, but to decide to vote for enhanced recognition for the Palestinians at the UN on Friday."
Former Labour foreign secretary Jack Straw warned that doing nothing would "undermine Britain's influence both with the Israelis and in the Arab world."
But a stubborn Mr Hague responded: "It does not help the Palestinians to help them to celebrate for one day while at the same time failing to address the wider needs of the peace process.
"We are a country, not a newspaper or a pressure group."
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