Rishi Sunak today urged a restoration of the ‘humanitarian pause’ in Gaza as violence flared between Israel and Hamas.
The PM said he would be discussing the dramatic escalation this morning with fellow leaders in Dubai, where he is attending the COP28 summit.
A barrage of missiles have been fired into Gaza as a week-long truce ended, despite frantic efforts to extend it for longer.
The IDF claimed that Hamas ‘violated’ the pause early and launched rockets at Israel in the early hours, with footage shared to social media appearing to show attacks on the city of Sderot.
In response, the ‘IDF renewed fire against the terrorist organization Hamas in the Gaza Strip’, the Israeli military announced on X.
Rishi Sunak today urged a restoration of the ‘humanitarian pause’ in Gaza as violence flared between Israel and Hamas
This picture taken from southern Israel near the border with the Gaza Strip shows smoke rising from buildings still after being hit by Israeli strikes in the battles between Israel and Hamas militants, on December 1, 2023
Speaking to broadcasters as the reports emerged, Mr Sunak said he would discuss the issue in meetings with regional leaders on the sidelines of the Cop28 climate talks when he was asked to react to news that the Israeli military has restarted fighting against Hamas.
He told broadcasters in Dubai: ‘Obviously this is news that has just broken in the past few minutes so I need to get into the details of it. It wouldn’t be right to speculate so early.
‘But I am having meetings with leaders from around the region in a matter of hours to discuss the situation.
‘We’ve been consistent that we want to see sustained humanitarian pauses so that more aid can get into the people of Gaza but also the hostages can come out. Those are critical ingredients. And as we’ve said everyone needs to adhere to the terms of these agreements.’
Just under an hour before the pause officially expired, the IDF claimed it had ‘intercepted’ another attack, adding that a ‘number’ of rockets had been fired by Hamas before the truce ended.
The Hamas-led health ministry in Gaza said 14 people had been killed in the first two hours after fighting resumed. Ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qudra said, there were ’14 dead and dozens injured, most of them women and children’.
Residents and personnel conduct search and rescue works continue in the rubble of the destroyed building after the end of the week-long ‘humanitarian pause’ in Rafah, Gaza on December 01, 2023
Within minutes of announcing the resumption of the conflict, Israeli air raids struck the Palestinian city of Rahaf in the southern Gaza Strip
Mr Sunak is in Dubai today where the COP28 climate summit is taking place
Though the seven-day truce offered a welcome reprieve from bloodshed and saw Hamas release dozens of Israeli and foreign hostages, dozens more remain trapped inside Gaza as fighting resumed this morning.
Yet despite the fresh violence, Qatari and Egyptian mediators are still negotiating a new extension of the seven-day truce, according to a source who spoke anonymously with AFP.
‘Negotiations are still ongoing with Qatari and Egyptian mediators despite the resumption of Israeli airstrikes on Gaza,’ the source said.