Petition calling for expulsion of Israeli ambassador wasn’t permanently removed after reaching 100,000 signatures

17 January 2024
What was claimed

A petition calling for the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador to the UK, Tzipi Hotovely has been removed from the website after reaching 100,000 signatures.

Our verdict

This is misleading. The petition was briefly deactivated for a “few hours” on 8 January after it reached 100,000 signatures while checked whether it violated the site’s guidelines, but it has since been reinstated.

Posts on Facebook and X (formerly Twitter) claim an online petition which calls for the expulsion of Israel’s ambassador to the UK has been removed.

The posts shared the claim alongside a picture of Tzipi Hotovely, the Israeli ambassador to the UK with a “” watermark in the corner. One caption of a post says: “THE PETITION CALLING FOR REMOVAL OF ISRAELI AMBASSADOR TO THE UK TZIPIP HOTOVELY HAS BEEN REMOVED AFTER 100,000 SIGNATURES.”

This is misleading, however. While the petition page on—entitled ‘Expel the Israeli Ambassador from the United Kingdom’—was deactivated on 8 January for “a few hours” by the website while it was reviewed following “user claims”, the petition has since been reopened to new signatories. 

A number of the claims about the petition’s removal were shared on 11 January, long after it had been reinstated.

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Was the petition ever removed?

An article was published by the news blog Skwawkbox on 8 January with the headline: “ disables huge petition for expulsion of far-right Israeli ambassador”.

It features a screenshot of the petition with a banner saying the page was “under review” and was “not accessible at the moment”.

This report appears to have been correct at the time it was made. told Full Fact the screenshot was genuine, and the petition had been put under review by its policy team after receiving “multiple user claims”.

“The petition was placed under review on 8 January and was back online a few hours later. At the time it was put under review it had 104,454 signatures,” a spokesperson for said.

“The petition was put under review by the policy team after receiving multiple user claims, but it was determined that it did not violate our guidelines.

“Our users’ safety is always our priority, so when we receive reports about petitions we act quickly to review them. Sometimes that results in petitions being inaccessible briefly while we do so. 

“That’s what happened in this case, but the petition is viewable again and continuing to gain support.”

The petition on the website has been signed more than 128,000 times at the time of writing.

We searched back through the “reasons for signing” comments on the petition, which showed that new signatures were being added to the petition on 8 January and 9 January.

The petition also still appears on’s website when you search the word ‘ambassador’. It was launched on 14 December following the outbreak of the current Israel-Gaza conflict.

Petitions launched through the UK Government and Parliament website (not sites like get a response from the government once they reach 10,000 signatures, and are “almost always debated” in Parliament when they reach 100,000 signatures. 

We’ve seen a significant amount of online misinformation concerning the Israel-Gaza conflict, including miscaptioned videos and fake articles—you can find more of our work fact checking these claims here

Misleading claims like these can cause confusion and mistrust. It is important to consider whether something genuinely shows what it claims before sharing it.

Image courtesy of Lauren Hurley / DHSC

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