New Delhi: British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak arrived in Israel on Thursday, as part of a two-day trip to the Middle East aimed at preventing further escalation of conflict in the region. He met with Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Isaac Herzog and expressed his support for the Jewish state in the wake of the deadly Hamas attack on 7 October.
Sunak said he wanted to tell Israel that Britain and he stood with them in their pain and sorrow. He also said he stood with them against the “evil of terrorism” that had claimed hundreds of lives in the hospital blast in Gaza City on Tuesday. He posted a message on social media platform X, saying he was in Israel, a country that was in pain.
Sunak also offered his condolences for the civilians killed on both sides of the war and pressed for humanitarian aid to be delivered to Gaza as soon as possible. He said the attack on al Ahli Hospital should be a watershed moment for leaders in the region and across the world to come together to avoid further dangerous escalation of conflict.
Sunak’s visit came after US President Joe Biden traveled to Israel on Tuesday, where he sided with Netanyahu that the hospital strike appeared not to have been caused by Israel but “by the other team”. Biden said Egypt’s President Sisi had agreed to open the Rafah crossing to allow 20 trucks of aid into Gaza.
Sunak will also travel to other regional capitals, including Egypt, Turkey, and Qatar, to seek support for a peaceful resolution in Israel and Gaza. He said he would ensure the UK was at the forefront of this effort.