UK's Sunak lands in Israel with call to avoid escalation of the war on Gaza

AFP , Thursday 19 Oct 2023

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak arrived in Israel on Thursday to meet his counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli President Isaac Herzog.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak arrives at Ben Gurion airport, near Tel Aviv, Israel, Thursday, Oct. 19, 2023. AP


"The attack on Al Ahli Hospital should be a watershed moment for leaders in the region and across the world to come together to avoid further dangerous escalation of conflict," Sunak said in a statement.

"I will ensure the UK is at the forefront of this effort."

Sunak will stress the international community must "not let Hamas' become a catalyst for further escalation of conflict in the region", the statement said.

He is also expected to insist that humanitarian aid, which London recently announced would be increased for the Palestinians, be allowed to arrive at a time when Israel has authorised the entry of aid into Gaza from Egypt, and that Britons stranded in Gaza be allowed to leave.

After Israel visit, Sunak will head to other countries in the region in an effort to deescalate the war on Gaza, his office has said.

Alongside the British prime minister's trip, his Foreign Secretary James Cleverly is due to visit Egypt, Turkey and Qatar "in the coming days", according to Downing Street.

London has pledged its support for Israel following the attacks by Hamas, which killed more than 1,400 people in Israel, and has announced that the UK's humanitarian aid to the Palestinians will be increased by a third, an extra £10 million pounds ($12 million).

Israel is relentlessly bombing the small, crowded territory of Gaza, where more than 3,400 people have been killed, most of them Palestinian civilians, according to the local authorities.

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