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David Cameron to meet with Palestinian leaders as UK pledges further £30m in Gaza aid
24 November 2023, 06:55 | Updated: 24 November 2023, 07:05
Foreign Secretary David Cameron is set to meet with Palestinian leaders and commit a further £30 million in aid for people in Gaza following the announcement of a temporary truce.
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The former prime minister is urging "all parties to continue to work towards the release of every hostage" after holding talks with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Isaac Herzog during a visit to Israel on Thursday.
He will be in the Occupied Palestinian Territories on Friday, meeting Palestinian leaders and agencies delivering aid in Gaza advocating adherence to the new agreement on all sides.
It comes as a temporary truce has begun between Israel and Hamas, with aid "going in as soon as possible", according to Qatari officials.
The first set of civilians held captive by Hamas are expected to be freed at about 4pm local time, including 13 women and children.
Lord Cameron visits Israel following announcement of truce in war with Hamas
Lord Cameron said: "We are hopeful that today will see the release of hostages, and I am urging all parties to continue to work towards the release of every hostage. A pause will also allow access for life-saving aid to the people of Gaza.
"I am proud that a fourth UK flight carrying critical supplies landed in Egypt today, and I can announce new £30 million of funding which will be spent on vital aid such as shelter and medical provisions.
"It is vital to protect civilians from harm, and we are urgently looking at all avenues to get aid into Gaza, including land, maritime and air routes."
There are hopes that the ceasefire will clear the way for humanitarian aid to enter Gaza to ease the suffering of citizens who have been bombarded and besieged by Israel following Hamas' October 7 attack.
Lord Cameron, who earlier visited Kibbutz Be'eri, scene of some of the worst violence during the Hamas assault, said: "There is never any excuse for this sort of hostage-taking.
"All the hostages should be released, but I hope that everyone who is responsible and behind this agreement can make it happen, to bring relief to those families, including, of course, there are British nationals who have been taken hostage."
Mr Netanyahu said Israel would "continue with the goals of the war and we will eradicate Hamas".
"There is no hope for peace between Israel and the Palestinians and between Israel and the Arab countries if we do not eradicate this murderous movement, which threatens the future of all of us," he told the Foreign Secretary.
'There's no price that Israel isn't willing pay': IDF spokesman discusses latest ceasefire agreement
It comes after the fourth British aircraft carrying humanitarian aid landed in Al Arish, Egypt, fro be transferred to Gaza.
The RAF flight carried 23 tonnes of humanitarian aid, including 4,500 blankets and 4,500 sleeping mats for distribution by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA).
Defence Secretary Grant Shapps said: "The RAF continues to deliver on the UK's commitment to helping those in need by operating flights into the region to provide urgent humanitarian support which will save civilian lives.
"The UK is driving international efforts to support the humanitarian response in Gaza, working closely alongside partners and allies to de-escalate the situation."
Lord Cameron previously met counterparts from Arab and Islamic countries - including the Palestinian Authority - at Lancaster House in London to discuss the Middle East crisis.
He said the group discussed how to use the planned pause in the Israel-Hamas fighting to consider "how we can build a peaceful future which provides security for Israel but also peace and stability for the Palestinian people".
Foreign ministers from Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, Indonesia and Nigeria, as well as the secretary general of the League of Arab States, and the ambassador of Qatar, attended the event.