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Dominic Raab visits Israel to meet Israeli and Palestinian leaders
25 May 2021, 22:30 | Updated: 26 May 2021, 00:08
Dominic Raab will hold talks with Israeli and Palestinian leaders during a one-day visit to the region following the recent conflict in the region.
The Foreign Secretary landed in Israel on Tuesday evening, where he will meet Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday, followed by a meeting with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Ramallah.
He will also meet Israeli Foreign and Defence Ministers, Gabi Ashkenazi and Benny Gantz, as well as Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh and Foreign Minister Riad Malki.
Ahead of the meetings, Mr Raab said: said: "The UK welcomes the ceasefire in Israel and Gaza. It is crucial that all sides now focus on ensuring it can last.
"The events of the last month demonstrate the urgent need to make genuine progress towards a more positive future for both Israelis and Palestinians, and breaks cycle of violence that has claimed so many lives.
"The UK supports a two-state solution as the best way to deliver a lasting peace."
The Foreign Office reiterated the UK's aim for a two-state solution "as the best way to permanently end the occupation and deliver Palestinian self-determination" as well as preserve Israel’s sovereignty and identity.
It follows 11 days of vicious fighting between Israeli Defence Forces and Hamas militant in Gaza after fighting was reported to have killed more than 200 Palestinians and twelve Israelis.
The violence started when Hamas militants launched rockets at Jerusalem following clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli Police at the sacred Al-Aqsa Mosque.
Police tactics and opposition to a potential eviction of dozens of Palestinian families by Jewish settlers led to growing anger.
In response to repeat rocket attacks, Israel launched hundreds of airstrikes into Gaza, saying it targeted Hamas' infrastructure.
After a ceasfire was announced on 20 May, Mr Raab said that both sides "must work to make the ceasefire durable and end the unacceptable cycle of violence".