Thank you for contacting me about the situation in Gaza. The terrorist attacks perpetrated by Hamas are heinous and unprecedented, and I firmly support Israel’s right to defend itself, as guaranteed by Article 51 of the United Nations Charter. As mentioned, the UK has made clear to Israel the importance of taking all possible measures to protect ordinary Palestinians.
However, the rapidly deteriorating humanitarian situation in Gaza is deeply troubling and the Prime Minister spoke with his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu on 12 October to urgently discuss Israel’s response against Hamas in Gaza. Acknowledging that the terrorist organisation has enmeshed itself amongst the civilian population in Gaza, the Prime Minister highlighted to Mr Netanyahu the importance of taking all possible measures to protect ordinary Palestinians and facilitate humanitarian aid.
It is also vital that the international community works together to relieve the impact on civilians, a point the UK Prime Minister emphasised during his meeting with the Prime Minister of Sweden ahead of the Joint Expeditionary Force Summit in Gotland on 13 October. I understand that he has also spoken with the Egyptian President to underscore the importance of opening the Rafah crossing to allow for humanitarian access and provide a route for British and other nationals to leave Gaza. UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office officials have also been closely engaged with UN efforts to secure humanitarian access and scale up the response.
This is a fast-moving situation, and I will be sure to follow developments closely.