UK’s Rishi Sunak visits Israel in the midst of ongoing conflict

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak arrived in Israel on October 19 to show solidarity with the Israeli people.

NEW DELHI | Updated: 19 October, 2023 7:29 pm IST
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak arrives in Israel to extend solidarity with the Israeli people

NEW DELHI: British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak arrived in Israel on October 19 to show solidarity with the Israeli people amid the ongoing conflict with Hamas. He is the third head of state to visit Israel during the current conflict, following German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and US President Joe Biden.

Sunak arrived at Ben Gurion Airport, located in the vicinity of Tel Aviv, Israel, on Thursday. During his visit, he is scheduled to hold meetings with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Isaac Herzog and express his condolences for the lives lost in both Israel and Gaza as a result of the attack on Israel that occurred on October 7.

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After this visit, Sunak will travel to Egypt, Turkey, and Qatar over the next three days to discuss the conflict and seek a peaceful resolution.

After landing Sunak wrote on X, “I am in Israel, a nation in grief. I grieve with you and stand with you against the evil that is terrorism. Today, and always.” British PM expressed hope that the meetings would be productive and supportive, and he extended his support to Israel while strongly condemning what he referred to as an “unspeakable, horrific act of terrorism” in relation to the surprise attacks by Hamas on October 7.

He met with Israeli leaders and is scheduled to hold talks with his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu. After meeting the President, Sunak wrote, “I’ve just met President @Isaac_Herzog and conveyed my gratitude for the support provided to British nationals caught up in the terror attacks. Together, we agreed on the importance of getting urgent humanitarian support to ordinary Palestinians in Gaza who are also suffering.”

Meanwhile, US President Biden, during his visit to Israel on Wednesday, expressed his support in the wake of the Hamas attacks. He aimed to understand Israel’s war objectives and was concerned about the potential for the conflict to escalate into a regional crisis. Biden issued a warning to Israel, emphasising the need for caution, “I understand. many Americans understand.

You can’t look at what has happened here… and not scream out for justice. But I caution this: While you feel that rage, don’t be consumed by it. After 9/11, we were enraged in the US. And while we sought justice and got justice, we also made mistakes.”

Biden’s visit came just a few hours after a blast at the Ahli Arab hospital in the Gaza Strip that killed over 500 people, sparking fury in Arab countries that blamed Israel for the bombing.

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In fact, while seated alongside Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at a Tel Aviv hotel, Biden supported Israel’s claim that the deadly explosion at a Gaza hospital the previous night resulted from a rocket misfired by Palestinian terrorists. He expressed his deep sorrow and anger about the incident, stating, “I was deeply saddened and outraged by the explosion at the hospital in Gaza yesterday. Based on what I’ve seen, it appears it was done by the other team, and not you.”

Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu stated that President Biden committed to providing substantial military assistance. Responding to a request from President Biden, Netanyahu granted permission for Egypt to deliver restricted humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip.

 

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