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Israel-Gaza war: Cameron says UK ‘not interested’ in ending weapons shipments – live

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Netanyahu says Israel has ‘no choice’ but to destroy Hamas-.mp4

The UK Foreign Secretary has said he is “not really interested” in halting weapons shipments to Israel despite the United States warning that they will suspend their own transfers if Israel conducts an offensive in southern Gaza.

Speaking to BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg, David Cameron said he, too, opposed Israel launching an attack in Rafah, the southernmost city in Gaza, but added that he was against halting the UK’s weapons shipments.

He said such a move “would make Hamas stronger” and, additionally, make it harder to negotiate a ceasefire agreement that ensured all the remaining Israeli hostages in Gaza return home.

“Just to simply announce today that we will change our approach on arms exports, it would make Hamas stronger and it would make a hostage deal less likely,” he said, adding that he was “not really interested in message sending” through political moves like ending weapons sales.

Earlier this week, US President Joe Biden suggested he would suspend additional shipments of weapons to Israel if they carried out an attack in Rafah.

But Lord Cameron argued the US “is in a totally different position” to the UK, since the US supplies around 68 per cent of Israel’s foreign-source weapons whereas the UK shipments amount to just one per cent.

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Cameron challenges BBC for failing to call Hamas ‘terrorists’ after claims British-Israeli hostage is dead

The foreign secretary urged the broadcaster to “ask itself again” about how it labels Hamas in the wake of the October 7 atrocities, when he appeared on Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg today (12 May).

Lord Cameron branded Hamas “callous” over a video showing a British-Israeli hostage who the militants said had died in Gaza.

Lord Cameron said he could give no updates on the fate of Nadav Popplewell as the Foreign Office investigates what happened.

Hamas on Saturday released a statement that the 51-year-old had died after being wounded in an Israeli airstrike a month ago.

Cameron challenges BBC over Hamas after claims British-Israeli hostage dead

Lord David Cameron has challenged the BBC over the corporation’s failure to describe Hamas as “terrorists” after the Palestinian group claimed a British-Israeli hostage had died. The foreign secretary urged the broadcaster to “ask itself again” about how it labels Hamas in the wake of the October 7 atrocities, when he appeared on Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg today (12 May). Lord Cameron branded Hamas “callous” over a video showing a British-Israeli hostage who the militants said had died in Gaza. Lord Cameron said he could give no updates on the fate of Nadav Popplewell as the Foreign Office investigates what happened. Hamas on Saturday released a statement that the 51-year-old had died after being wounded in an Israeli airstrike a month ago.

Tom Watling12 May 2024 12:15

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Rafah hospital says it has received ‘18 martyrs’ in past 24 hours

A hospital in Rafah, the southernmost city in Gaza into which Israel is readying a ground offensive, has reported that the bodies of 18 people were delivered to them over the past 24 hours.

The Kuwaiti hospital said on Sunday it had received the bodies of “18 martyrs” killed in Israeli strikes over the past 24 hours.

Smoke billows during Israeli bombardment on the Gaza Strip from a position in southern Israel (AFP via Getty Images)

Tom Watling12 May 2024 11:44

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Israel pushes back into northern Gaza, ups military pressure on Rafah

Israel sent tanks into eastern Jabalia in the northern Gaza Strip early on Sunday, after a night of heavy aerial and ground bombardments, killing 19 people and wounding dozens of others, health officials said.

Jabalia is the biggest of Gaza’s eight historic refugee camps and is home to more than 100,000 people, most of whom were descendants of Palestinians who were driven from towns and villages in what is now Israel during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war that led to the creation the state of Israel.

Late on Saturday, the Israeli military said forces operating in Jabalia are preventing Hamas, which controls Gaza, from re-establishing its military capabilities there.

“We identified in the past weeks attempts by Hamas to rehabilitate its military capabilities in Jabalia. We are operating there to eliminate those attempts,” said Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari, Israel‘s military spokesperson, during a briefing to reporters.

Hagari also said that Israeli forces operating in Gaza City’s Zeitoun district killed about 30 Palestinian militants.

Israel pushes back into northern Gaza, ups military pressure on Rafah (REUTERS)

Tom Watling12 May 2024 11:15

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Hamas claims British hostage has died as Israel orders new evacuations of Rafah

A British-Israeli hostage held in Gaza has died, Hamas claimed on Saturday – as Israeli forces ordered further evacuations of the strip, forcing tens of thousands of Palestinians to leave their homes.

Nadav Popplewell, 51, who was taken hostage during the 7 October attack on Israel, died of wounds caused by an Israeli airstrike a month ago.

The Palestinian military group provided no evidence to support the claim, which has also not been verified by Israel or Mr Popplewell’s hometown of Nirim.

Tom Watling12 May 2024 10:45

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Inside Oxford University’s Gaza student protests – where an Israeli MP made a bold appearance

‘I am very, very focused on the millions of people who are about to die’, one university protester tells Alex Ross as he is given a tour of their camp

Tom Watling12 May 2024 10:15

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What’s the latest in the Israel-Gaza conflict? 12 May

After Hamas published footage yesterday claiming British-Israeli hostage Nadav Popplewell had been killed in Gaza by an Israeli airstrike – a claim for which they provided no evidence – protesters took to the streets in Tel Aviv calling for a deal to be made with the militant group to end the fighting and bring back to Israel the remaining hostages. Police used water cannons to disperse the crowds as they clashed with the authorities.

128 individuals are still being held hostage in Gaza, with 36 confirmed as dead. US President Joe Biden said on Saturday that a ceasefire could be achieved “tomorrow” if Hamas released the hostages. His remarks came after he warned Israel that he could suspend weapons shipments if they invade Rafah, the southernmost city in Gaza, for fear of further civilians being caught up in the crossfire.

In the Strip, hundreds of thousands fled Rafah as witnesses said Israeli tanks had positioned themselves on Salahuddin Road, which divides central Rafah from the eastern areas Israel has ordered to be evacuated, ahead of the imminent ground offensive.

At least 34,971 Palestinians have been killed since Israel launched its retaliatory war in Gaza following the deadly Hamas attack of 7 October, according to the local health ministry. More than 78,000 have been injured.

Outside of the Middle East, pro-Palestine protesters were seen congregating on London’s Waterloo Bridge on Saturday afternoon.

Protesters clash with police officers during a demonstration in Tel Aviv alling for a hostages deal with Hamas (Getty Images)
A boy looks on as Palestinians prepare to flee Rafah after Israeli forces launched a ground and air operation in the eastern part of the southern Gaza city (REUTERS)
Protesters wave Palestinian flags and brandish a smoke flare during a Pro-Palestinian demonstration on Waterloo Bridge, in London (AFP via Getty Images)

Tom Watling12 May 2024 09:39

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Lord Cameron: Rafah offensive would be wrong, but pressure should be on Hamas

David Cameron has said an Israeli offensive in Rafah would be wrong, but that the pressure should be on Hamas to end the conflict.

The foreign secretary said Britain has been clear that for a major offensive to go ahead in the city, on the southern border of the Gaza Strip, should not go ahead without “a clear plan about how you save lives”.

But he told Sky News “the real pressure” should be on Hamas to agree a hostage release deal that could stop the fighting tomorrow.

Lord Cameron said: “The right answer is to try and stop the fighting by having a hostage deal, achieving a pause in the fighting and then using that to build a sustainable ceasefire without going back to further conflict.

“That’s why I’m always pushing on the Israelis and on everyone else. But the problem is, it goes back to Hamas.

“Hamas had been offered a deal which would release hundreds of prisoners from Israeli jails, that would provide a pause in the fighting to get desperately needed aid into Gaza, and they’re not taking that deal.”

Tom Watling12 May 2024 09:21

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Ground battles intensify across Gaza

Israeli forces were battling Palestinian militants across the Gaza Strip on Sunday, including in parts of the devastated north that the military said it had cleared months ago, where Hamas has exploited a security vacuum to regroup.

Palestinians reported heavy Israeli bombardment overnight in the urban Jabaliya refugee camp and other areas in the northern Gaza Strip, which has suffered widespread devastation and been largely isolated by Israeli forces for months. U.N. officials say there is a “full-blown famine” there.

Residents said Israeli warplanes and artillery struck across the camp and the Zeitoun area east of Gaza City, where troops have been battling Palestinian militants for over a week. They have called on tens of thousands of people to relocate to nearby areas.

“It was a very difficult night,” said Abdel-Kareem Radwan, a 48-year-old Palestinian from Jabaliya. He said they could hear intense and constant bombing since midday Saturday. “This is madness.”

Smoke rises following an Israeli airstrike east of Rafah in the Gaza Strip (Ismael Abu Dayyah/AP) (AP)

Matt Mathers12 May 2024 09:03

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Israel ‘carpet bombs’ Gaza refugee camp

Israel has reportedly “carpet bombed” the Jabalia refugee camp in northern Gaza.

Several Palestinians were killed and injured during the attacks, according to Al Jazeera and the Wafa news agency/

The exact number of casualties was not immediately clear.

Matt Mathers12 May 2024 09:00

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ICYMI: Rafah’s hospitals overwhelmed while food and fuel run out as Israel steps up bombardment

The few remaining hospitals in Rafah are at 250 per cent capacity, while food and fuel are running out, the United Nations has warned, as heavy fighting between Israeli troops and Palestinian militants moves towards the centre of Gaza’s border city.

Crucial aid crossings remain inaccessible, meaning supplies of food, medicines, tents and blankets are dwindling. The World Food Programme will run out of food for distribution in southern Gaza by Saturday and there are no tents, blankets or bedding to set up new locations for displaced people, said Georgios Petropoulos, an official with the UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Rafah.

Matt Mathers12 May 2024 08:44

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