Sunak: Israel ‘has every right to defend itself’.
Rishi Sunak has provided an update on the number of Britons missing or killed as a result of the conflict in an address to Parliament today: 6 dead and ten missing.
It comes after the prime minister’s visit to a Jewish school in north London, where he repeated his belief that Israel has “every right to defend itself and its people to ensure that nothing like this ever happens again”.
He added that in his conversation with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, he had also raised the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, where 2,700 Palestinians have been killed and 9,700 people wounded in retaliatory airstrikes.
Mr Sunak’s statement to the Commons is expected to set out how the UK is aiding British nationals caught in the fighting and supporting Israel, as well as detailing the response to the impact on Palestinians trapped in the strip.
Hospitals across Gaza are expected to run out of fuel, while international aid is being held up in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula pending a deal to ensure its safe delivery.
Prime minister says ‘we stand with British Muslim communities too’
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak told the Commons “we stand with British Muslim communities too”.
He said: “I also recognise that this is a moment of great anguish for British Muslim communities who are also appalled by Hamas’s actions but fearful of the response.
“We must listen to these concerns with the same attentiveness. Hamas is using innocent Palestinian people as human shields.”
He added: “We mourn the loss of every innocent life, civilians of every faith, every nationality who have been killed.
“And so, let’s say it plainly, we stand with British Muslim communities too.”
Holly Evans16 October 2023 15:57
‘Labour stands with Israel, Britain stands with Israel,’ Sir Keir Starmer
Sir Keir Starmer has promised Labour stands with Israel and defended the country’s right to “bring her people home, defend herself and keep its people safe”.
The Labour leader said: “Hamas are not the Palestinian people, and the Palestinian people are not Hamas”.
But he joined Rishi Sunak in calling for Israel to defend itself “in accordance with international law”.
Sir Keir said: “Civilians must not be targeted, innocent lives must be protected. There must be humanitarian corridors.
“There must be humanitarian access, including food, water, electricity and medicines, so that hospitals can keep people alive and so that innocent people do not needlessly die.”
Holly Evans16 October 2023 15:51
Sunak ‘sickened’ by antisemitic incidents since Hamas attack
Addressing the British Jewish community, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said in the Commons: “We stand with you now and always. This atrocity was an existential strike at the very idea of Israel as a safe homeland for the Jewish people.
“I understand why it has shaken you to your core, and I am sickened that antisemitic incidents have increased since the attack.
“We are doing everything we can to protect you.”
He added: “We are working with the police to ensure that hate crime and the glorification of terror is met with the full force of the law.”
He went on: “We stand with the Jewish community.”
Holly Evans16 October 2023 15:48
Sunak announces £10m extra aid for Palestinian people
Rishi Sunak said the UK government would increase aid to Palestinian people by a third – with an additional £10m of aid going through UN agencies.
“We must support the Palestinian people because they are victims of Hamas too,” he said – saying the terrorist group does not “represent” the people of Gaza.
He called on both Israel and Egypt to open up the Rafah crossing for aid.
“We must ensure humanitarian aid reaches civilians in Gaza – this requires Egypt and Israel to let in the aid that is so badly needed.”
Holly Evans16 October 2023 15:45
Sunak says ‘We stand with Israel’
Mr Sunak told Parliament: “The families of some of the missing are in the public gallery today. We call for the immediate release of all hostages and I say to them: we stand with you. We stand with Israel.
“The murdered and the missing come from over 30 countries, including the United Kingdom.
“The terrible nature of these attacks means it is proving difficult to identify many of the deceased but with a heavy heart I can inform the House that at least six British citizens were killed.
“A further 10 are missing, some of whom are feared to be among the dead.”
Holly Evans16 October 2023 15:43
At least six UK citizens killed and 10 missing, says Sunak
Rishi Sunak said at least six UK citizens had been killed in Israel and Palestine, while another 10 were missing.
The PM said the attacks by Hamas had “shocked the world”, adding that: “We should call it by its name – it was a pogrom … We stand with Israel.”
He revealed 500 Britons had been brought back on eight flights – and said the government working on land evacuations. Sunak said he had spoken to the Egyptian president about opening the Rafah crossing to get people out of Gaza.
Holly Evans16 October 2023 15:39
Labour urges UK government to recognise Gaza humanitarian ’emergency’
Lisa Nandy, Labour’s shadow cabinet minister for international development, has urged the government to treat the situation in Gaza as an “emergency”.
Citing reports from humanitarian groups that they could no longer provide aid in Gaza due to the security situation, Ms Nandy said:“Incredibly concerned to learn from UNRWA that, as of this morning, they are no longer able to provide humanitarian assistance in Gaza.
“Water has almost entirely run out and there is no more capacity to provide shelter. I have today been in contact again with my counterpart Andrew Mitchell. This is an emergency that requires a swift and enhanced response.”
Holly Evans16 October 2023 15:29
Rishi Sunak set to give statement in Parliament
Prime minister Rishi Sunak is set to deliver a statement in Parliament at 3.30pm, setting out the government’s position on the Israel-Hamas conflict and provide an update on the British citizens killed or missing.
Holly Evans16 October 2023 15:22
Netanyahu compares Hamas to Nazis in latest address
Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu has described Hamas as “part of the evil axis of Iran and Hezbollah” in his latest address, where he also compared the group to the Nazis.
“There are many questions surrounding the disaster that befell us ten days ago. We will investigate every aspect thoroughly,” he said.
“The nation is united towards one goal, victory. We will triumph because it’s about our very existence in this region, which is fraught with dark forces. Hamas is part of the evil axis of Iran and Hezbollah.
“They aim to plunge the Middle East into an abyss of chaos. Now, many around the world understand who Israel is facing. They comprehend that Hamas represents a new version of Nazism. Just as the world united to defeat the Nazis and ISIS, so it must unite to defeat Hamas
“We are committed to all the families. We will not relent in our efforts to bring our brothers and sisters back.”
Holly Evans16 October 2023 15:03
Israeli PM warns Iran and Hezbollah not to ‘test us’
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has warned Iran and Hezbollah not to “test us” in the north.
Mr Netanyahu gave a speech in the Israeli Knesset on Monday in which he said the world needed to unit to defeat Hamas.
He said “this war is also your war,” and he compared Hamas to the Nazis.
Holly Evans16 October 2023 14:49
https://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/jewish-hamas-government-prime-minister-british-b2430523.html Rishi Sunak confirms 6 Britons dead and 10 missing after Hamas ‘pogrom’ – live