David Cameron: Israel must ensure aid reaches Gazans

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British Foreign Secretary David Cameron called on Israel on Tuesday to ensure that humanitarian aid reached civilians in Gaza, saying a failure to ensure the delivery of vital assistance would be a violation of the law. international. He also stressed that any ceasefire potentially concluded with Hamas still in power within the coastal enclave would not last.

“What is happening in Gaza is a tragedy. We want to see an end to the suffering, we want to see an end to all these deaths,” he said in response to a question in the House of Lords. “The pause in the fighting that we are calling for, we want to transform it into a ceasefire, ensuring that the conditions will be the best to conclude it.”

Cameron said those conditions included “the expulsion of Hamas leaders in Gaza, no ceasefire can last as long as the problem exists.” We must dismantle the structure that allows terrorist attacks.”

“We also need to have a new Palestinian Authority. The Palestinians must be given a political horizon open to a better future and a two-state solution. And it is crucial, we must release all the hostages and do it very quickly,” he continued.

Cameron said he had “personally” called out to Israel following incidents in Gaza when he was questioned about the death of a girl who had begged for help and whose lifeless body was ultimately was found, which shocked the international community.

“We will continue to challenge Israel as part of the very important process we are carrying out to determine whether the actions of the Israelis are in accordance with humanitarian law,” he said.

Cameron was asked about his possible “knowledge of initiatives taken by Hamas aimed at protecting the children of Gaza” – freeing hostages, stopping attacks on Israel and or organizing the flight of its leaders to the Gulf. He responded by referring to the Israeli children killed and kidnapped by the terrorist group during its deadly assault in southern Israel on October 7.

“It’s true that in this House we continually ask ourselves what else Israel could do but we should, at the same time, say what Hamas should do – and it should lay down its arms and stop now. Hamas could immediately put an end to this conflict,” the foreign minister said.

Cameron also reiterated that “our goal” must be to negotiate a pause in the fighting that could open the door to a permanent ceasefire – “but, more importantly, this pause is necessary to bring in the humanitarian aid in the strip and to get the hostages out.”

He also strongly recommended that Israel “take the time to think carefully” before launching any military operation in Rafah, the southernmost city of the coastal enclave.

“The people who are in Rafah have, many of them, already been displaced three, four or five times. And it’s not possible to leave yet. They cannot go to the north because they would return to houses that have been destroyed. They can’t go south because that would involve entering Egypt – none of us want to see that and the Egyptians don’t want that either,” he noted.

“This is why it is so important that the Israelis take the time to think carefully before launching an operation in Rafah,” he continued.

Cameron said that while Israel had “the absolute right to respond” to the deadly October 7 assault – which, he said, was “the worst pogrom since the Holocaust” – the country “must comply with the international humanitarian law”.

“Which not only implies what the army can do to judge its actions in this war but also means that since Israel is the occupying power in Gaza, the country must ensure that humanitarian aid , that water, food and shelter are made available to the people of Gaza – because if Israel does not do this, then it is also a violation of humanitarian law,” he said. explain.

Additionally, Cameron was asked whether “early unilateral recognition” of a Palestinian state would amount to a reward for Hamas – the foreign secretary had recently indicated that Britain was considering the possibility.

“Of course, this would not be a reward given to Hamas,” he insisted. “Hamas is not seeking the two-state solution; he swears only by the destruction of Israel. »

“We must try to separate the Palestinian population from Hamas,” Cameron continued. “One of the best ways to do this… is to offer the Palestinians… better governance, with a reformed Palestinian Authority and the horizon of a long-term two-state solution.”

“It is not because recognition will not be made from the beginning that this means that we will have to wait until the end to do so. One of the things that is starting to change now, and I think it’s a good thing, is the American position which was, until now, that recognition could only come when Israel and the Palestine would agree on the formation of a Palestinian state. If we do that, we’re… effectively giving Israel a veto over the establishment of a Palestinian state, and I think that’s the opposite of the idea of creating some sort of “unstoppable and irreversible momentum towards this two-state solution that we all want.”

This article is originally published on fr.timesofisrael.com

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