Sunak plans trip to Israel this week
Prime minister Rishi Sunak plans to visit Israel this week, Sky News reported on Tuesday (17). However, Downing Street representatives did not confirm the report, saying that Sunak’s travel plans would be announced in the usual manner. Last week, foreign minister James Cleverly visited Israel to express solidarity with the Israeli people after attacks by the Palestinian militant group Hamas.
US president Joe Biden will visit Israel on Wednesday (18).
Israel has vowed to annihilate the Hamas movement that controls Gaza after Hamas gunmen killed 1,300 people, mainly civilians, during a rampage through southern Israeli towns on October 7 – the deadliest single day in Israel’s 75-year history.
On Monday (16)Sunak told parliament that he supported absolutely Israel’s right to defend itself, to go after Hamas, take back hostages and strengthen its long-term security.
“This must be done in line with international humanitarian law, but also recognising that they face a vicious enemy that embeds itself behind civilians,” Sunak said.
“As a friend, we will continue to call on Israel to take every possible precaution to avoid harming civilians.”
The Palestinian death toll from Israel’s bombardment of Gaza climbed to about 3,000 on Tuesday, its health ministry said, and at least six people were killed in an Israeli air strike that hit a school run by the U.N. Palestinian refugee agency.
Earlier on Tuesday, Sunak spoke with the leaders of Saudi Arabia and Qatar, stressing how important it was for the conflict not to spread across the region.