By John Ensor •
Published: 19 Oct 2023 • 19:26
UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu.
In a significant diplomatic meeting today, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to express solidarity and support.
On Thursday, October 19, the UK prime minister began by thanking his counterpart for the welcome he received and regretted that the meeting was held under such distressing circumstances.
Prime Minister Sunak continued: ‘In the last two weeks, this country has gone through something that no country, no people, should have to endure.
‘Least of all Israel, which has lived through some of the most awful scenes, the spectre of violence and terrorism every day of its existence.’
Sunak added: ‘I want to share the deep condolences of the British people, and stress that we absolutely support Israel’s right to defend itself in line with international law, to go after Hamas, to take back hostages, deter further incursions and to strengthen your security for the long-term.’
He went on to refer to Hamas as a terror organisation: ‘I know that you are taking every precaution to avoid harming civilians, in direct contrast to the terrorists of Hamas, which seek to put civilians in harm’s way.’
The UK PM expressed gratitude towards the Israeli government’s assistance to British families that have been affected by the crisis. He thanked Israel for the aid given to British citizens involved in the tragedy, and also reaffirmed his hope that both the UK and Israel would maintain their spirit of cooperation.
Sunak also mentioned the terrible tragedy suffered by the Palestinian people: ‘Can I also say that we have seen scenes over the past day that have shocked all of us, particularly at the hospital, and we mourn the loss of every innocent life, civilians of every faith and every nationality who have been killed.
‘We also recognise that the Palestinian people are victims of Hamas too, and that is why I welcome your decision yesterday that you took to ensure that routes into Gaza will be opened for humanitarian aid to enter.’
In his conclusion he reiterated the UK’s unwavering support for Israel, describing the UK as Israel’s ‘friend’, who will stand with Israel in solidarity.
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Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina.
He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.
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