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Britain’s Cameron calls Gaza ‘prison camp’

(JTA) — British Prime Minister David Cameron called on Israel to end its blockade of Gaza, calling it a "prison camp."

"The situation in Gaza has to change," Cameron said Tuesday during a speech to a Turkish business association in Ankara. "Humanitarian goods and people must flow in both directions. Gaza cannot and must not be allowed to remain a prison camp."

Cameron also criticized Israel’s interception of a Turkish Gaza-bound flotilla that led to the death of nine Turkish passengers, including one dual Turkish-American citizen.

"The Israeli attack on the Gaza flotilla was completely unacceptable," he said. "I have told Prime Minister Netanyahu we will expect the Israeli inquiry to be swift, transparent and rigorous."

During a news conference later with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Cameron continued to criticize Israel’s blockade of Gaza. He also called on "Turkey and Israel not to give up on their friendship."

The American Council for World Jewry expressed concern over Cameron’s criticisms of Israel.

In a statement released Tuesday, council Chairman Jack Rosen said the British leader never mentioned that "Gaza’s million-and-a-half Palestinians live under the control of Hamas, a terrorist organization, or that the activists aboard the Mavo Marmara vessel were committed in word and deed to lynching the Israeli officers who boarded their ship." 

"Feeding the myth that Israel is entirely to blame for the current situation is a risky and unfair strategy. Israel has never acted in the kind of vacuum implied by the Prime Minister," the statement continued. "We urge him to recommit to a consistent and balanced approach that holds all sides accountable, regardless of which audience is being addressed."

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