Palestine has condemned Boris Johnson for opposing an International Criminal Court (ICC) investigation into whether the state of Israel is guilty of war crimes towards Palestinians in the Occupied Territories.

The statement was made in a letter from Mr Johnson to the Conservative Friends of Israel lobby group.

He wrote: “As a founder member of the ICC, we have been one of its strongest supporters and continue to respect the independence of the institutions.

“This investigation gives the impression of being a partial and prejudicial attack on a friend and ally of the UK’s.”

The Prime Minister wrote: ”We oppose the ICC’s investigation into war crimes in Palestine”. He added: “We do not accept that the ICC has jurisdiction in this instance.”

Palestine’s diplomatic mission stated on its website that the declaration, “marks a low point in UK-Palestine relations and undermines UK’s credibility on the international stage.”

The statement continued: “It is clear that the UK now believes Israel is above the law.

“On the one hand, Prime Minister Johnson claims to support the mission of the ICC. On the other, he seems to argue that its mission cannot extend to Israel because it is a ‘friend and ally of the UK.’ “Moreover, he contradicts stated British policy, which is clear that settlements are a violation of international law and therefore a war crime.

“The letter is a contradiction of international law. It is a contradiction of British policy.”

An inquiry was started last month into alleged war crimes in the occupied West Bank, the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem since 2014.

The investigation will look into possible atrocities carried out by both Israeli forces and Hamas.

Many pro-Palestine charities criticised the Prime Minister in a joint statement saying: “We condemn the Prime Minister’s statement on the ICC’s investigation into alleged grave crimes committed in the Palestinian territory.

“The UK Government could be a bastion of international law and human rights-but instead it is undermining international criminal proceedings and standing in the way of justice.”