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UK Increases Humanitarian Aid to Gaza and Urges Progress on Hostage Release during Official Visit to Israel

In a significant move, UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron has announced an additional £30 million in humanitarian aid for Gaza, bringing the total UK commitment to Palestinians since the crisis began in October to an impressive £60 million. This financial support underscores the UK’s commitment to providing essential assistance to those affected by the ongoing conflict.

The funds are intended to support trusted partners on the ground, including United Nations agencies, in delivering critical and life-saving aid to the people of Gaza. As the conflict continues to exact a heavy toll on civilians, the additional aid is poised to make a meaningful impact on addressing the urgent humanitarian needs of the region.

David Cameron emphasized the importance of the aid in protecting civilians from harm and expressed the UK’s commitment to exploring all available avenues to facilitate the delivery of aid into Gaza. This commitment includes considering various routes, such as land, maritime, and air options, to ensure that the assistance reaches those who need it most.

The announcement of this additional funding coincided with the landing of the fourth UK aircraft carrying humanitarian aid in Egypt’s Al Arish. The Royal Air Force (RAF) aircraft transported 23 tonnes of crucial supplies, including 4,500 blankets and 4,500 sleeping mats, earmarked for distribution by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).

UK Defence Secretary Grant Shapps emphasized the RAF’s continuous efforts to fulfill the UK’s commitment to providing urgent humanitarian support. The RAF’s role in delivering aid demonstrates the UK’s dedication to working with international partners to de-escalate the situation and support the humanitarian response in Gaza.

David Cameron, who is currently on an official visit to Israel, seized the opportunity to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israel President Isaac Herzog. During these meetings, he called for greater access to life-saving support, including medical supplies and fuel, underscoring the UK’s commitment to addressing the critical needs of the people in Gaza.

The Foreign Secretary also welcomed the recent hostage deal between Israel and Hamas, urging all parties to ensure that the agreement is delivered in full. Cameron sees the pause in the conflict as a crucial step towards providing relief to the families of the hostages and addressing the growing humanitarian crisis in Gaza. He expressed hope for the prompt release of hostages and families affected by the terror attack on October 7th, emphasizing the UK’s commitment to supporting these efforts.

While in Israel, David Cameron visited Kibbutz Be’eri, one of the communities profoundly affected by the October 7th terror attack. This firsthand experience allowed him to witness the true nature of the challenges faced by the people of Israel and reaffirmed the UK’s solidarity with them.

As the UK Foreign Secretary navigates through these critical diplomatic engagements, his overarching message remains clear: the UK stands committed to providing both financial aid and diplomatic support to address the multifaceted challenges arising from the conflict in Gaza. The additional funding and ongoing humanitarian efforts underscore the UK’s role in driving international initiatives to alleviate the suffering of civilians caught in the midst of this crisis.

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