‘Terrible’ war between Israel Hamas ‘must end’: UK’s Sunak

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British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Saturday said the “terrible” war between Israel and Hamas “must end,” six months on from the start of the conflict.

“We continue to stand by Israel’s right to defeat the threat from Hamas terrorists and defend their security. But the whole of the UK is shocked by the bloodshed,” he said in a statement.

For the latest updates on the Israel-Palestine conflict, visit our dedicated page.

“This terrible conflict must end. The hostages must be released. The aid -- which we have been straining every sinew to deliver by land, air and sea -- must be flooded in,” he added.

The bloodiest-ever Gaza war began on October 7 with an unprecedented attack from Gaza by Hamas militants resulting in the death of 1,170 people in southern Israel, mostly civilians, Israeli figures show.

Palestinian militants also took around 250 Israeli and foreign hostages, about 130 of whom remain in Gaza, including over 30 that the Israeli army says are dead.

Israel’s retaliatory offensive against Hamas has killed at least 33,137 people in Gaza, mostly women and children, according to the Gaza’s health ministry.

“Today marks six months since the terrorist outrage of 7th October -- the most appalling attack in Israel’s history, the worst loss of Jewish life since the Second World War,” Sunak said.

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

Sunak said the children of Gaza needed a “humanitarian pause immediately, leading to a long-term sustainable ceasefire.”

“That is the fastest way to get hostages out and aid in, and to stop the fighting and loss of life.

“For the good of both Israelis and Palestinians -- who all deserve to live in peace, dignity and security -- that is what we will keep working to achieve,” he added.

The British government on Friday called for “utmost transparency” and a “wholly independent review” into the killing of seven aid workers in the Gaza Strip.

Three of the seven World Central Kitchen staff who died in an Israeli airstrike on Monday evening were British.

The deaths have also heaped pressure on the UK government to suspend arms export licenses to Israel.

According to arms control groups, London has approved more than £487 million ($614 million) of weapons sales to Israel since 2015 in so-called single issue licenses.

The British government, meanwhile, said a Royal Navy ship would be deployed to help get more aid into Gaza.

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Alongside the deployment, Britain also announced a £9.7 million ($12.25 million) package for aid deliveries, logistical expertise and equipment support for a humanitarian corridor in the eastern Mediterranean between Cyprus and Gaza.

Foreign Secretary David Cameron said Britain and its allies needed to “explore all options” including sea and air deliveries to “ease the desperate plight of some of the world’s most vulnerable people” in the territory.

Read more:

Israel fighting ‘bloody and difficult war,’ president says as it nears half-year mark

Gaza’s largest hospital ‘an empty shell with human graves,’ WHO says

At least 33,137 Palestinians killed in Gaza offensive since Oct. 7: Ministry

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