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Israel should 'stop and think seriously' before continuing Rafah offensive says David Cameron
12 February 2024, 13:44 | Updated: 12 February 2024, 14:02
Israel should “stop and think seriously" before continuing its offensive on Rafah the Foreign Secretary has said.
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David Cameron's comments follow Israeli airstrikes targeting the southern Gaza city on Monday, with the former PM adding it was "impossible" to see how you can "fight a war amongst these people".
The city of Rafah has become the last point of refuge for around a million displaced civilians - around half of Gaza's entire population.
It comes as local health officials report that 67 Palestinians were killed and dozens wounded in the fresh strikes.
Israel announced on Monday that two Israeli hostages had been freed as a result of the targeted strikes.
Asked whether the strikes contravened international law during the visit to East Kilbride, Scotland, the Foreign Secretary said: "We think it is impossible to see how you can fight a war amongst these people. There's nowhere for them to go."
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He added that he was "concerned" about the situation and would push for an "immediate pause" in fighting.
Cameron added: "We want that pause to lead to a ceasefire."
The Prime Minister's official spokesman added the PM was "deeply concerned" about the prospect of a military offensive in Rafah.
Speaking to reporters, Lord Cameron said: "We are very concerned about what is happening in Rafah because, let's be clear, the people there, many of whom have moved four, five, six times before getting there.
"It really, we think, is impossible to see how you can fight a war amongst these people, there is nowhere for them to go.
"They can't go south into Egypt, they can't go north and back to their homes because many have been destroyed.
"So we are very concerned about the situation and we want Israel to stop and think seriously before it takes any further action," he added.
"But above all, what we want is an immediate pause in the fighting. We want that pause to lead to a ceasefire, a sustainable ceasefire without a return to further fighting. That is what should happen now.
"We need to get those hostages out, including the British nationals. We need to get the aid in. The best way to do that is to stop the fighting now and turn that into a permanent, sustainable ceasefire."
The comments come as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that sending troops into Rafah was a necessary move in order to eliminate Hamas.
He announced on Friday that he had asked the military to prepare to enter Rafah and evacuate hundreds of thousands of people.