Britain’s top diplomat reiterates call for ‘sustainable’ ceasefire in Gaza

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British foreign minister David Cameron on Thursday reiterated his call for a “sustainable” ceasefire in Gaza.

“What we want is a sustainable ceasefire. And that means that Hamas is no longer able to threaten Israel with rockets and with terrorist attacks,” Cameron said in an interview with Al Arabiya.

“And then if we get that sustainable ceasefire, we can move on to what we really want, which is a two-state solution so we can have a secure Israel, but also security and dignity for the Palestinian people having a state of their own,” he said.

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“Now, that’s going to take time. It’s going to take a lot of work, but that is the long term answer. And Britain and Germany and others are completely committed to it.”

London supports temporary pauses in fighting between Israel and Hamas as such pauses facilitate the entry of aid into Gaza as well as the release of hostages, Cameron said.

He said that Britain has communicated to Israel its opposition to any displacement of Palestinians, reduction in the size of Palestinian territories, or permanent occupation.

Israel must understand that “these are red lines for the international community, for Egypt, for the Palestinians. There should be no displacement. We want to see Gaza and the West Bank as part of a two-state solution,” Cameron said.

Commenting on attacks by Yemen’s Iran-backed Houthi militia in the Red Sea, he said Britain does not want the Israel-Hamas conflict to spread, “but what we can’t accept and what no country should accept is threats to shipping in this area.”

If Iran is concerned about the US-led naval coalition to protect the Red Sea global shipping lane from the Houthis, Cameron said, “the first thing Iran should do is actually speak with its proxies, including the Houthis, in order to stop these attacks from taking place.”

The Houthis say their missile and drone strikes on passing container ships are in support of Palestinians in the Gaza war raging between Israel and Hamas since October 7.

Israel launched its campaign in the Gaza Strip with the aim of annihilating Hamas whose fighters raided Israel on October 7.

They took some 240 hostages and killed 1,200 people, according to Israel, which says it cannot be safe until the group sworn to its destruction is eliminated.

Since then, nearly 20,000 Gazans have been confirmed killed, according to the Palestinian health ministry, with several thousand more bodies believed to be trapped under rubble.

Nearly all of Gaza’s 2.3 million people have been driven from their homes.

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