During a meeting with the British Prime Minister on Thursday, the Saudi Crown Prince strongly condemned attacks on civilians in Gaza, labeling them as “heinous.” He also expressed concern about the “dangerous repercussions” that could result from an escalation of the conflict between Israel and Hamas, as reported by Saudi state media.
Rishi Sunak and Mohammed bin Salman on Thursday held a crucial meeting in Saudi Arabia as part of efforts to ease the tension in the region.
“The leaders agreed that the loss of innocent lives in Israel and Gaza over the last two weeks has been horrific. They underscored the need to avoid any further escalation in the region and agreed to coordinate action on this front,” according to an official statement by 10 Downing Street.
Both leaders agreed on the pressing need for humanitarian access to Gaza to provide water, food, and medicines.
The prime minister outlined the steps the UK has taken to address the increasingly urgent humanitarian situation, including announcing £10 million in further aid, the statement said.
During their discussions, Sunak encouraged the crown prince to leverage Saudi Arabia’s leadership in the region to promote stability, “both now and in the long term.”
The conflict in Gaza, under Israeli bombardment and blockade since Oct. 7, began when Hamas initiated Operation Al-Aqsa Flood, a multi-pronged surprise attack that included a barrage of rocket launches and infiltrations into Israel by land, sea, and air. It said the incursion was in retaliation for the storming of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and growing violence by Israeli settlers.
The Israeli military then launched Operation Swords of Iron against Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip.
Gaza is experiencing a dire humanitarian crisis, with no electricity, while water, food, fuel, and medical supplies are running out.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for an “immediate humanitarian cease-fire” to ease the “epic human suffering.”
At least 3,808 Palestinians have been killed in Israeli attacks on Gaza, while the figure stands at more than 1,400 people in Israel.