UK PM Rishi Sunak in Israel to express solidarity in conflict
Amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Rishi Sunak landed in Tel Aviv on Thursday to meet the Israeli top leaders and express solidarity with the war-torn country.
According to his office, Sunak will meet with his Israeli couterpart Benjamin Netanyahu and Israel President Isaac Herzog and will share his condolences for the loss of life in Israel and Gaza as a result of the October 7 attack on Israel.
"Every civilian death is a tragedy. And too many lives have been lost following Hamas' horrific act of terror," Sunak said in a statement ahead of his visit, according to Reuters.
Moreover, as per Reuters report, Sunak will call for the opening up of a route to allow humanitarian aid into Gaza as soon as possible and to make it possible for British nationals trapped in Gaza to depart.
Earlier, in a post on social media platform X, Sunak condemned the attack on Gaza hospital that killed hundreds.
Thousands of people have been killed on both sides as the war continues to turn brutal with every passing day.
The war, as it unfolds, comes up with international pressure mounting for an immediate ceasefire and a return to the negotiating table to resolve the long-standing Israel-Palestine conflict.
On Tuesday, Tal Heinrich, a spokesperson for Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu, told CNN that the IDF "does not target hospitals." "We only target Hamas strongholds, arms depots, and terror targets," he said.
Heinrich made the remarks after Palestinian sources claimed that initial estimates suggest that the attack on the Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital in Gaza City resulted in 200 to 300 fatalities.
An explosion at the hospital in Gaza City on Tuesday claimed the lives of hundreds of people, according to health authorities in the Hamas-run enclave. A Gaza civil defence chief claimed on Al-Jazeera television that over 300 people were killed in the explosion at the Gaza hospital.
Expressing his solidarity with the nation Sunak on Monday had said that the attacks in Israel last weekend shocked the world, as the elderly, men, women, children, and babies in arms were murdered, mutilated and burned alive.
While updating the House of Commons on the latest situation in Israel and Gaza, Sunak ensured complete support to Israel from the UK.
"The attacks in Israel last weekend shocked the world. Over 1,400 people were murdered, over 3,500 wounded, almost 200 taken hostage. The elderly, men, women, children, and babies in arms were murdered, mutilated and burned alive. It was a pogrom...We stand with Israel. The murdered and the missing come from over 30 countries, including the United Kingdom. At least six British citizens were killed and ten are missing...We are working with Israel to establish the effects as quickly as possible...we are also helping British citizens who want to leave Israel," Sunak said in the Parliament.
"I want to address the British Jewish community directly...we stand with you now and always. This atrocity was an existential strike at the very idea of Israel as a safe homeland for the Jewish people. We are doing everything that we can to protect you...," he added.
Speaking further, the UK Prime Minister stated that Hamas is "using innocent Palestinian people as human shields," and that Britain mourns the loss of every innocent life that has been taken amid the ongoing Hamas terror.
"Hamas is using innocent Palestinian people as human shields. With the tragic loss of more than 2,600 Palestinian lives, including many children, we mourn the loss of every innocent life. Civilians of every faith, every nationality, who have been killed...I believe we must support Israel's right to defend itself, to go after Hamas, take back the hostages, deter further incursions, and strengthen its security for the long term...," he said.
Sunak also emphasised that Palestinian people are, too the victims of Hamas, as he urged for humanitarian support for the Gaza people.
He said, "We must support the Palestinian people because they are victims of Hamas too. We believe that Hamas does not represent the Palestinian people or their legitimate aspirations to live with equal measures of security, freedom, justice, opportunity, and dignity."
"Hamas simply does not stand for the future that the Palestinians want, and they seek to put the Palestinian people in harm's way. So we must ensure humanitarian support urgently reaches civilians in Gaza. This requires Egypt and Israel to allow the aid that is so badly needed," he added.
Moreover, US President Joe Biden just wrapped up his visit to Israel where he also showed his support to the war hit Israel.