Gaza in need of "humanitarian pause," says PM

Downing Street, with the door closed.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has marked the six-month anniversary of the 7 October Hamas attacks by saying in a statement that the UK government "continues to stand by Israel’s right to defeat the threat from Hamas terrorists and defend their security."

He said: "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."

On 7 October 2023, Hamas launched a land, sea, and air assault on Israel from the Gaza Strip. It resulted in more than 1,200 deaths.

Sunak said that "families still mourn and hostages are still by Hamas."

"The whole of the UK is shocked by the bloodshed," he said, "and appalled by the killing of brave British heroes who were bringing food to those in need."

This is in reference to the three British aid workers who were killed in an Israeli missile strike on a humanitarian vehicle in Gaza. As well as the British nationals, an Australian, a Palestinian, a Polish national, and an American-Canadian dual citizen were killed in the strike. 

Sunak said: "The children of Gaza need 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."

Although the total death toll is not clear, TIME reported last month that there had been approximately 30,000 deaths in Gaza since the start of the war. 

He added: "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."


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