Rishi Sunak Talked with Benjamin Netanyahu, Urging to Open the Kerem Shalom Crossing for Gaza Aid Delivery

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UK (Parliament Politic Magazine) – Rishi Sunak conversed with Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu, reaffirming support amidst the Gaza crisis and humanitarian concerns

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak communicated to Israel’s Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this afternoon. He reiterated the UK’s continued support for Israel’s right to safeguard its people against Hamas’ terror and secure its long-term security. 

The Prime Minister expressed the UK was deeply concerned about the loss of civilian life in Gaza and the potentially devastating humanitarian effect of a military incursion into Rafah. He restated that the immediate priority must be negotiating a humanitarian pause to allow the safe discharge of hostages and to facilitate considerably more aid heading to Gaza, leading to a longer-term sustainable ceasefire. For there to be everlasting peace, Israel’s security must be assured.

Mr. Sunak underlined the scale of the humanitarian crisis in Gaza and demanded Israel fully open the Kerem Shalom crossing and authorize the maritime delivery of international aid through Ashdod port, which the UK stood ready to support. 

He mentioned the importance of continuing to abide by International Humanitarian Law and protecting civilian infrastructure like hospitals and shelters. The Prime Minister expressed more must be done to ease restrictions on humanitarian supplies and ensure the UN and aid agencies can reach civilians in need throughout Gaza. 

The Prime Minister revised his recent meeting with the families of British hostages held by Hamas, and they concerned urgent ongoing efforts to bring hostages safely home, as well as efforts to ensure any remaining British nationals who wish to leave Gaza can do so. 

Turning to broader issues, the Prime Minister stated it was vital to avoid inflaming tensions and undermining security in the West Bank. In the longer term, the UK continued to believe a viable two-state solution was the best means to achieve lasting peace and stability for both Israelis and Palestinians. They agreed that Hamas could have no role in the future governance of Gaza.

Both leaders are also concerned about regional issues, and the Prime Minister set out how the UK is supporting measures to de-escalate the situation on Israel’s northern border with Lebanon and avoid further conflict or threats to Israeli citizens.

Moreover, Rishi Sunak arrived in Israel last October for a two-day visit to the war-torn Middle East. He directly held talks with Israeli President Isaac Herzog as well as Netanyahu.

Standing alongside Netanyahu for a televised sermon, Sunak said he “knew” Israel is “taking every precaution to bypass harming civilians” as it responds to last weekend’s attacks by Hamas.

Sunak briefed Netanyahu afterward: “I’m proud to stand with you as your friend in Israel’s darkest hour. We will stand with you in solidarity, stand with your people, and we want you to win.”

Sunak also told the “deep condolences of the British people” at the mass loss of life during last weekend’s attacks.

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“We’re increasing our aid to the region, and we will look to get more support to people as quickly as we can,” Sunak said.

Beth Malcolm

Beth Malcolm is Scottish based Journalist at Heriot-Watt University studying French and British Sign Language. She is originally from the north west of England but is living in Edinburgh to complete her studies.