British PM slams Israel: ‘Situation in East Jerusalem is genuinely shocking’

British Prime Minister David Cameron slammed Israeli construction in East Jerusalem on Wednesday evening, saying the situation in the capital was “genuinely shocking.”

Cameron was responding to a question about the Palestinian plight from Labour MP Imran Hussain in the House of Commons.

“I am well known for being a strong friend of Israel, but I have to say the first time I visited Jerusalem and had a proper tour around that wonderful city and saw what had happened with the effective encirclement of East Jerusalem, occupied East Jerusalem, it is genuinely shocking,” the British prime minister said.

He criticized the Israeli government’s policies, saying “we do not support illegal settlements, we do not support what is happening in East Jerusalem and it’s very important that this capital city is maintained in the way that it was in the past.”

Cameron’s comments came almost at the same time as US Secretary of State John Kerry, who said Israeli construction in Jewish communities was not helping ease the tensions between the two warring sides.

“I think that I know we need to see measures taken on both sides to indicate a readiness and willingness to try to proceed forward and reduce the violence,” Kerry said, when asked about heightened violence.

US President Barack Obama also addressed the situation in the region during a meeting with Jordanian King Abdullah II.

“The situation in Israel and the West Bank, the increasing tensions that exist between Israelis and Palestinians there — His majesty has been a critical component of reducing some of the immediate sources of tension around the Temple Mount and visits there, but we continue to agree that it’s important for us to provide both sides a sense of possibility and hope and not simply despair,” the American president said.