As the number of Palestinians killed and wounded by Israeli troops on the border with Gaza mounts, so too does world condemnation and outrage. This is not the first nor, sadly, will it be the last time, we have heard cries that something must be done to hold Israel accountable.

The latest calls by the UN human rights chief Zeid Ra’ad al-Hussein, for an investigation into the killings and the “wholly disproportionate” military response by the Israeli army to the Gaza protesters is to be welcomed.

It remains a measure though of the political challenges faced in pursuing such a course that countries like the US and Australia rejected the resolution while the UK government as it so often does when faced with such a diplomatic responsibility shies away from it by abstaining. As our world coverage today reveals, the UK does of course have its own reasons for doing this and it has little to do with merely upsetting the “special relationship” with Washington.

For the stark truth is that the UK government while espousing the cause of Palestinians human rights is cynically undermining those same rights, by selling a near unprecedented amount of arms to Israel. Among these are sniper rifles and components for such weapons that Israeli troops might well be currently using in Gaza.

Add to this the grenades, bombs, missiles, armoured vehicles, assault rifles and ammunition and the UK is profiting to a fine tune from the Israeli military establishment and de-facto its oppression of Palestinians and violations of their rights.

All these arms sales were of course subject to review following the Gaza war of 2014. But quietly the UK government dropped all restrictions again in 2015 resulting in arms exporting licences soaring to the point where the UK has now approved some £320 million since the 2014 conflict. This is unacceptable not least when the UK highlights Palestinian human rights in one of its most recent Foreign Office reports. Such double standards cannot go unchallenged and renewed efforts to take the UK government to task over its duplicitous policies must now be made at Westminster and every level.