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Hamas should stop firing rockets to end the war, UK says

The UK insists Hamas should quit firing as a precondition to stopping the violence, renewing its accusation to the Islamic Resistance Movement

By Amer Sultan, Tuesday 20 Nov 2012
Alistair Burt
Politician Alistair Burt
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The UK renewed its accusation to the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) of being responsible of the current Israeli war on Gaza. It insists that Hamas should stop firing as a precondition for working to stop violence.

"The UK calls on Hamas, who bear principal responsibility for starting this round of violence, to stop the rocket attacks”, minister for the Middle East Alistair Burt has said.

Burt arrived in Israel yesterday  on a three day visit to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories of West bank.

At the beginning   of the Israeli  fierce attacks against Gaza ,  William Hague, the UK Foreign Secretary,  said Hamas is responsible for the new cycle of fighting.

 The UK  Foreign Ministry said that  Burt  visited  Kiryat Malachi in southern Israeli”  to see first-hand the terrible impact of the rocket that hit a residential building last week and killed three Israelis civilians.”

 It added the minister spent time with one of the bereaved families, met Mayor Moti  Malka, and was briefed on the on-going rocket attacks from Gaza.

He is expected to be briefed today by the United Nations and a range of international NGOs on the humanitarian situation inside the Gaza Strip.

He will meet with  the Israeli  Foreign Minister and Deputy Prime Minister Meridor and  the President  and Prime Minister of the Palestinian National  Authority , to discuss how to bring an urgent end to the current conflict, according to a ministry statement.

 The statement quoted the minister as saying  he is “gravely concerned about the current crisis, particularly the loss of civilian life on both sides".  

Meanwhile , the UK foreign ministry  advised against  all travel to Gaza.

 In a revised travel notice , the ministry said” Our ability to provide Consular assistance in Gaza is extremely limited”.

 The notice also advised against trying to deliver assistance to civilians in Gaza.

We continue to advise against participating in flotillas or overland convoys to Gaza because of the risks involved. On account of the uncertain situation there, we do not believe that humanitarian supplies should be delivered by an attempt to land goods through a sea journey”.

It advised against “breaching the restrictions imposed by the Israeli navy” on Gaza.

 The notice said “the official crossings and established channels” are the only way to send humanitarian assistance or other goods to Gaza.

 Israel has been closing all crossings with Gaza for about 6 years in its attempt to tighten its siege on Gaza.

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