London, UK, October 17: Expressing his solidarity with the nation, United Kingdom Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Monday said that the attacks in Israel last weekend shocked the world, as the elderly, men, women, children, and babies in arms were murdered, mutilated and burned alive.
While updating the House of Commons on the latest situation in Israel and Gaza, Sunak ensured complete support to Israel from the UK.
“The attacks in Israel last weekend shocked the world. Over 1,400 people were murdered, over 3,500 wounded, almost 200 taken hostage. The elderly, men, women, children, and babies in arms were murdered, mutilated and burned alive. It was a pogrom…We stand with Israel. The murdered and the missing come from over 30 countries, including the United Kingdom. At least six British citizens were killed and ten are missing…We are working with Israel to establish the effects as quickly as possible…we are also helping British citizens who want to leave Israel,” Sunak said in the Parliament.
“I want to address the British Jewish community directly…we stand with you now and always. This atrocity was an existential strike at the very idea of Israel as a safe homeland for the Jewish people. We are doing everything that we can to protect you…,” he added.
Speaking further, the UK Prime Minister stated that Hamas is “using innocent Palestinian people as human shields,” and that Britain mourns the loss of every innocent life that has been taken amid the ongoing Hamas terror.
“Hamas is using innocent Palestinian people as human shields. With the tragic loss of more than 2,600 Palestinian lives, including many children, we mourn the loss of every innocent life. Civilians of every faith, every nationality, who have been killed…I believe we must support Israel’s right to defend itself, to go after Hamas, take back the hostages, deter further incursions, and strengthen its security for the long term…,” he said.
Sunak also emphasized that Palestinian people are, too the victims of Hamas, as he urged for humanitarian support for Gaza people.
He said, “We must support the Palestinian people because they are victims of Hamas too. We believe that Hamas does not represent the Palestinian people or their legitimate aspirations to live with equal measures of security, freedom, justice, opportunity, and dignity.”
“Hamas simply does not stand for the future that the Palestinians want, and they seek to put the Palestinian people in harm’s way. So, we must ensure humanitarian support urgently reaches civilians in Gaza. This requires Egypt and Israel to allow the aid that is so badly needed,” he added.
Sunak also highlighted his conversation with the Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas and said that he expressed support for his efforts to provide stability in the region.
“Earlier today, I spoke to Mahmoud Abbas, the leader of the Palestinian Authority, to express our support for his efforts to provide stability. And third, we will use all the tools of British diplomacy to sustain the prospects of peace and stability in the region. Ultimately, that requires security for Israelis and Palestinians and a two-state solution. So, we are increasing our regional engagement,” Sunak said.
He further underlined that he also spoke with Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu twice, last week, along with the US, France, Germany, Italy and others.
“I have spoken with Prime Minister Netanyahu twice in the last week, along with the United States, France, Germany, Italy and others. My Right Honorable friend, the Foreign Secretary, was the first to visit Israel after the attack. I met with the King of Jordan yesterday, a longtime voice of reason and moderation, and I have spoken today with the leaders of Turkey and previously Egypt and will speak to others in the coming days. Our partners in the region have asked us to play a role in preventing further escalation. That is what we will do, however hard it is. We need to ask the tough questions about how we can revive the long-term prospects for a two-state solution for normalization and regional stability,” he said.
Rishi Sunak has time and again voiced support for Israel and has previously said the UK will always stand with its allies against terror.
“The UK will always stand with our allies against terror. Following the Hamas terrorist attacks on innocent victims in Israel, I have deployed our world-class military to bolster regional stability, prevent further escalation and aid humanitarian efforts,” Sunak wrote on ‘X’.
The Israeli military is expected to launch a ground invasion in the Gaza Strip, but its extent and when it is carried out may be affected by operational considerations, as tensions grow on the northern border.
Meanwhile, Israel’s National Security Council head Tzachi Hanegbi has reaffirmed that the cabinet’s war goal is to remove Hamas from military and political control over the Gaza Strip.
Hanegbi said that in a recent cabinet meeting, the government approved a plan to “destroy” Hamas, as stated by the prime minister and defense minister.