UK always stands with allies against terror: PM Rishi Sunak
On the Israel-Hamas war, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has said the UK will always stand with its allies against terror.
"The UK will always stand with our allies against terror. Following the Hamas terrorist attacks on innocent victims in Israel, I have deployed our world class military to bolster regional stability, prevent further escalation and aid humanitarian efforts," Sunak wrote on 'X' on Saturday.
Meanwhile, as the Israel-Palestine conflict enters its eighth day, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) has said it is completing preparations for a "significant ground operation" in the Gaza Strip, The Times of Israel reported.
The IDF statement says it is preparing to "expand the offensive" by implementing a "wide range of offensive operational plans" which it says include a "joint and coordinated attack from the air, sea and land."
The IDF said it is finalising the draft of hundreds of thousands of reservists, as the logistics directorate is working to provide troops with all the equipment they will need for the ground offensive.
It said: "In recent days, the tools required for combat have been transferred to the assembly areas, and at this stage, the various units of the Technological and Logistics Directorate are working to complete the qualification of the tools and equipping them with advanced combat means, as needed."
"IDF battalions and soldiers are deployed all over the country and are prepared to increase readiness for the next stages of the war, with an emphasis on a significant ground operation," the military added, according to The Times of Israel.
The military is expected to launch a ground invasion in the Gaza Strip, but its extent and when it is carried out may be affected by operational considerations, as tensions grow on the northern border.
Meanwhile, Israel's National Security Council head Tzachi Hanegbi has reaffirmed that the cabinet's war goal is to remove Hamas from military and political control over the Gaza Strip.
Hanegbi, however, declined to elaborate on planned next steps for the coastal enclave.
When asked about Israeli plans for alternative control, or return to occupation, of the Gaza Strip, Hanegbi told The Times of Israel, "We can't report through you to the enemy on what is coming, we can tell Hamas that it is prohibited for it to be sovereign in Gaza."
Hanegbi says that in a recent cabinet meeting, the government approved a plan to "destroy" Hamas, as stated by the prime minister and defence minister.
"Hamas will not be the ruler, the sovereign in Gaza after the combat," he says, as per The Times of Israel.