Britain to warn Israel over ‘dreadful’ famine in Gaza

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Britain will warn Israel on Wednesday that its patience is running thin over the “dreadful suffering” in Gaza, where a lack of aid is leading people to die of hunger, foreign minister David Cameron said.

Cameron, who is due to meet Israeli war cabinet member Benny Gantz on Wednesday, told parliament late on Tuesday that Israel’s handling of aid for Gaza, as the occupying power, raised questions over its compliance with international law.

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“We are facing a situation of dreadful suffering in Gaza,” Cameron told the upper House of Lords. “I spoke some weeks ago about the danger of this tipping into famine and the danger of illness tipping into disease; and we are now at that point.

“People are dying of hunger; people are dying of otherwise preventable diseases.”

Britain, like the United States, initially gave its backing to Israel’s assault on Gaza in response to an attack by the militant group Hamas on Oct. 7.

But Cameron, a former prime minister, has stepped up calls for a ceasefire in recent weeks as Palestinian health authorities put the death toll of those killed by Israel at 30,000 and the United Nations warned that many were on the brink of starvation.

Cameron told parliament that aid going to Gaza in February was around half the amount that was delivered in January.

“The patience needs to run very thin and a whole series of warnings needs to be given, starting, I hope, with a meeting I have with Minister Gantz when he visits the UK tomorrow,” he said.

Gantz, a political rival to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, heard a similar message when he met US Vice President Kamala Harris in Washington on Monday. She said Israel needed to craft a “credible” humanitarian plan for Gaza, after she previously warned that conditions there were “inhumane”.

The UN and other relief agencies have accused Israel of blocking or restricting aid into Gaza - a charge it denies.

Cameron said too many items were rejected from being sent to Gaza because they “are supposedly dual-use goods”.

Israel has said it is committed to improving the humanitarian situation in Gaza and there is no limit on the aid for civilians. It has blamed the United Nations for any delivery issues, saying limitations on the quantity and pace of aid are dependent on the capacity of the UN and other agencies.

Read more:

ASEAN, Australia call for ‘immediate and durable’ ceasefire in Gaza

Hamas says will continue ceasefire talks until agreement with Israel reached

Hostage crisis poses dilemma for Israel, offers a path to victory for Hamas

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