| 28 February 2024, Wednesday |

Casualties in Israel-Hamas war ‘too high,’ settler violence in West Bank completely unacceptable: UK’s Cameron

Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza has resulted in casualty figures that are “too high”, said British Foreign Secretary David Cameron
The former British premier told Israeli leaders to respect international humanitarian law as they conduct a war which has so far killed over 14,000 Gazans, mostly civilians.
“We are going to have a continuous dialogue with them and keep making these points about humanitarian law, about civilian casualties,” Cameron said, but stated that Israel had a right to defend itself and get their hostages back.
He also condemned the actions of Israeli settlers in the West Bank.
“People targeting and, on occasion, killing Palestinian civilians is completely unacceptable,” he told the BBC in Ramallah, adding those responsible need to be “arrested, prosecuted and imprisoned. These are crimes.”
On the issue of finding a long term, durable solution to the security situation, Cameron emphasized that Palestinian security is integral to Israel’s security.
“There won’t be long term safety and security and stability for Israel, unless there is long term safety, security and stability for the Palestinian people,” he said.
Israel “must act in a way that delivers its long-term security” and that would depend on “Palestinians living in peace and stability and security in this land at the same time”.
On Thursday, a 12-year-old boy died from injuries sustained from Israeli army fire in Beita, south of Nablus.
Over 3 million Palestinians live in the West Bank among 700,000 Jewish settlers. Israel’s illegal settlement expansion is a major impediment to peace and security in the Holy Land.
Palestinian health authorities said 229 people have been killed in the West Bank by the Israeli army since Hamas attacked settlements near Gaza on Oct. 7, killing 1,200 people and resulting in 240 being taken hostage. Israel’s heavy-handed response has prompted calls for a ceasefire to prevent further civilian deaths. Israel has rejected these calls, saying the halt will impede the military’s mission to completely eradicate Hamas.
Cameron, who was recently appointed to office after years away from politics, met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Isaac Herzog on Thursday.
He urged Israel to get more aid into Gaza and make every effort to reduce civilian deaths.
The warring sides reached an agreement that came into effect on Friday, which will initiate a few days pause in fighting to enable hostages to be exchanged and more aid for civilians in Gaza.
On Friday, 13 Israelis were released, some with dual nationality, plus 10 Thais and a Filipino. Israel released 39 Palestinian women and children from jail.
Nearly 200 trucks carrying humanitarian aid, including water and medical supplies entered through the Rafah crossing on Friday, the most since the start of current hostilities.

  • Arab News