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Israel-Hamas war: I stand against the evil that is terrorism, says Rishi Sunak after landing in Tel Aviv

Israel-Hamas war: UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who is visiting Tel Aviv at a time when Israel is being criticised by the Gulf countries after brutal attack on Gaza hospital, will call on Benjamin Netanyahu and President Isaac Herzog. He is also scheduled to meet leaders in other Gulf countries.

Edited By: Raju Kumar @rajudelhi123 London Updated on: October 19, 2023 13:05 IST
UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak
Image Source : X/@RISHISUNAK UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak

Israel-Hamas war: UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak arrived in war-torn Israel on Thursday following the visits of US President Joe Biden and Germany Chancellor Olaf Scholz to the Middle East as part of a broader visit to the region, which may include stops in Jordan and Egypt. The British Prime Minister will meet with Israel counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu and President Isaac Herzog, before heading to other regional capitals.

"I am in Israel, a nation in grief. I grieve with you and stand with you against the evil that is terrorism. Today, and always," posted Sunak after arriving in Tel Aviv.

The British PM on Tuesday held a flurry of phone calls with world leaders as the UK Cabinet discussed the Israel-Gaza conflict in an effort to avert a wider conflict in the Middle East. 

Sunak speaks to Gulf leaders

In a call with Prime Minister and Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salman, Sunak discussed the prospect of a peaceful resolution to the crisis. This was followed up with a call with the Amir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, to discuss areas of cooperation between the UK and Qatar, including on ensuring safe passage for aid to Gaza to alleviate the humanitarian suffering and on urgent efforts to secure the release of hostages.

The UK PM tweeted, “I spoke to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman earlier on the situation in Israel and Gaza. We both recognise the devastating consequences of wider conflict in the Middle East.” 

“We will work closely to prevent escalation, including destabilisation fuelled through Iranian proxies,” he asserted.

Downing Street said Sunak confirmed to the Saudi leader that the UK would provide further humanitarian aid for Palestinians in Gaza and continue to support the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people to statehood, alongside regional partners like Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Egypt.

“We're working with partners like Qatar to urgently secure the release of hostages and ensure safe passage of humanitarian aid to civilians in Gaza,” tweeted Sunak, after his call with the Amir of Qatar.

Downing Street said the British Prime Minister reiterated his complete condemnation of Hamas’ terrorist attack and set out the UK’s efforts to support Israel and protect Palestinian civilians and British nationals caught up in the violence during his call with the Qatari leader.

The calls followed a weekly Cabinet meeting at 10 Downing Street which was also dominated by the crisis in the Middle East.

British citizens affected by Israel-Hamas war

Meanwhile, the younger of two British sisters who were said to be missing after the Hamas attack on Israel is believed to have died. Yahel Sharabi, 13, and Noiya Sharabi, 16, disappeared from Be'eri kibbutz after it was raided and it emerged on Tuesday that Yahel has been killed.

On Monday, Sunak told the House of Commons that at least six Britons were killed and another 10 are missing in what he termed a "pogrom" by the Hamas terrorist group on October 7 which escalated the conflict in the region.

Biden announces $100 million humanitarian aid

Amid the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas, US President Joe Biden on Wednesday announced $100 million for humanitarian assistance in Gaza and the West Bank. Taking to 'X' (formerly known as Twitter), he said that the money will support over 1 million displaced and conflict-affected Palestinians. "And we will have mechanisms in place so this aid reaches those in need – not Hamas or terrorist groups," Biden added.

(With AP inputs)

Also read: US vetoes UN Security Council resolution on Israel and Hamas war, Russia abstains

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