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Senior UK minister resigns over Britain's Gaza stance

Britain’s first female Muslim cabinet minister resigned from the government Tuesday over its policies on the Gaza Strip. Baroness Sayeeda Warsi announced that she was stepping down in an early morning statement on her official Twitter account: "With deep regret I have this morning written to the Prime Minister and tendered my resignation. I can no longer support the government policy on #Gaza."  She followed the tweet with a letter, describing Britain's policy as "morally indefensible." "[It] is not in Britain's national interest and will have a long term effect on our reputation internationally and domestically," she wrote, adding that the decision "has not been easy." She claimed "great unease" existed in Britain's Foreign Office over "the way recent decisions are being made." Prime Minister David Cameron has been accused by the leader of the opposition of a failure of leadership on Israel's Gaza onslaught, while "remaining silent about the killing of innocent Palestinian civilians caused by Israel's military action." Cameron, meanwhile, has commended United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon's for speaking out against an Israeli attack near a United Nations-run school in the Strip, but would not be drawn on whether he agreed if it had been "a moral outrage and a criminal act".

Warsi wrote Tuesday "I must be able to live with myself for the decisions I took or the decisions I supported. By staying in government at this time I do not feel that I can be sure of that."

Warsi - who grew up the daughter of Pakistani immigrants in Dewsbury in northern England and worked as a solicitor before entering politics - was the Senior Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and also the minister for Faith and Communities. 

She was appointed to both posts in September 2012, had previously served as the chairwoman of the Conservative Party and has been a Conservative member of the House of Lords since 2007.

She became the first Muslim female minister in the cabinet when Cameron took office in 2010.

When asked for a response Tuesday, the Prime Minister's Office told the Anadolu Agency that it was still looking into the decision and could not yet confirm it.

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