PM Sunak Backs Israel’s Right To Defend Itself Against Hamas

Rishi Sunak has pledged support for Israel’s right to defend itself against Hamas as he commemorates the six-month anniversary of the October 7 attack.

However, the Prime Minister has cautioned Israel to expedite aid delivery to Gaza and expressed the UK’s dismay over an airstrike by the Israel Defence Forces that resulted in the deaths of three British humanitarian workers.

The October 7 attack, during which Hamas militants penetrated the Gaza-Israel barrier, led to over 1,100 deaths and the abduction of 250 individuals, with roughly 130 still being held captive.

Mr. Sunak expressed, “The whole of the UK is shocked by the bloodshed and appalled by the killing of brave British heroes who were bringing food to those in need.”

“Six months later, Israeli wounds are still unhealed. Families still mourn, and hostages are still held by Hamas.”

He further stated, “Today marks six months since the terrorist outrage of October 7 – the most appalling attack in Israel’s history, the worst loss of Jewish life since the Second World War.”

“We continue to stand by Israel’s right to defeat the threat from Hamas terrorists and defend their security.”

He also advocated for an immediate pause in hostilities, aiming for a durable and sustainable ceasefire.

The October 7 incident ignited an ongoing military operation by Israel in the Gaza Strip, which has caused over 33,000 Palestinian deaths, massive displacement, and a continuous humanitarian crisis, as reported by Gaza’s Hamas-led health ministry.

An article in the Sunday Times by Lord Cameron, the Foreign Secretary, accompanied his message, placing additional pressure on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu following the airstrike by the Israel Defence Forces that killed three British aid workers.

Lord Cameron cautioned about Israel’s adherence to international law, stating unequivocally where fault lies and insisting on the prevention of such incidents in the future.

John Chapman, 57, James ‘Jim’ Henderson, 33, and James Kirby, 47, are the three Britons who lost their lives in IDF airstrikes on their humanitarian convoy on April 1.

The Prime Minister highlighted the rising casualties among Palestinian civilians and mentioned the UK’s efforts to deliver aid to Gaza. He emphasized the importance of Hamas releasing its hostages.

The government plans to deploy a Royal Navy vessel to the eastern Mediterranean to establish a new maritime aid corridor, coupled with £9.7 million in UK funding.

David Lammy MP, the Labour Party’s shadow foreign secretary, has also demanded the return of Israeli hostages and criticized the IDF’s military actions for causing unbearable loss and destruction.

The government faces increasing demands to disclose whether it has been advised on the legality of continuing arms sales to Israel.

Mr. Lammy stated, “The UK Government must firmly adhere to international law in this conflict, including the arms sales licensing criteria and urging Israel to fully implement the provisional measures in the International Court of Justice’s January verdict.”

He also emphasized the importance of focusing on creating a fair and enduring peace from the tragedies of this conflict.