A handout photo made available by Number 10 Downing Street shows British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak (L) meeting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) in Jerusalem, 19 October 2023. EFE/EPA/Simon Walker / No 10 Downing Street HANDOUT HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALES

UK PM Sunak visits in Israel in show of support

Jerusalem, Oct 19 (EFE).- The United Kingdom’s Prime Minister Rishi Sunak arrived Thursday in Tel Aviv to meet with his Israeli counterpart, Benjamin Netanyahu, and the president, Isaac Herzog, to express the United Kingdom’s support in its war against Hamas, the Islamist group that governs the Gaza Strip.

Minutes after his arrival, Sunak posted a message on the X network (formerly Twitter) where he stressed that he was in Israel, “a nation in grief”.

A picture released by the Government Press Office (GPO) on 19 October 2023, shows President Herzog (R) meeting now with UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak (L) at the presidential residency in Jerusalem. EFE/EPA/Kobi Gidon / GPO HANDOUT HANDOUT EDITORIAL USE ONLY/NO SALES

“I grieve with you and stand with you against the evil that is terrorism. Today and always,” Sunak said.

After meeting with Herzog, Sunak said the pair had agreed on “the importance of getting urgent humanitarian support to ordinary Palestinians in Gaza who are also suffering.”

Before leaving for the region, a Downing Street spokesperson said that during his meetings with Netanyahu and Herzog he would press for humanitarian aid to be allowed to enter Gaza.

The UK head of government also plans to meet with other leaders in various capitals in the region, although further details about the trip are not yet known.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak upon arrival at Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv, Israel, 19 October 2023. EFE/EPA/ABIR SULTAN

“Every civilian death is a tragedy. And too many lives have been lost following Hamas’ horrific act of terror,” Sunak said in a statement before leaving for Israel.

The attack on the Al Ahli hospital in Gaza (for which Hamas and Israel blame each other) should be a “watershed moment for leaders in the region and across the world to come together to avoid further dangerous escalation of the conflict,” the prime minister added, stressing that the UK would be “at the forefront of this effort.”

British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly is due to travel to Egypt, Turkey and Qatar in the coming days, nations that are “vital to international efforts to uphold regional stability, free hostages and allow humanitarian access to Gaza”, a UK government statement said. EFE