UK PM Fails to Back Calls for ‘Immediate Cease-Fire’ in Gaza

London, MINA – British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak failed once again to back a call for an immediate cease-fire in Gaza on Wednesday but said he supports an “immediate humanitarian pause.”

Sunak’s comments came ahead of a vote on a Scottish National Party (SNP) motion that calls for an immediate cease-fire in Gaza during a weekly House of Commons session where the prime minister responds to questions from lawmakers, Anadolu Agency reported.

SNP leader in Westminster Stephen Flynn said: “60 per cent of the buildings in Gaza are either damaged or destroyed, much of the farmland is in ruin, some 30,000 people are dead, 70,000 injured and 1.4 million people are currently sheltering in Rafah, awaiting an imminent Israeli onslaught.”

“Surely the Prime Minister must accept that that does not amount to self-defense,” Flynn said.

Sunak, in response, said he shares the concerns about the “high rate of civilian casualties” and “the growing humanitarian crisis in Gaza” and “that is why we have called consistently for an immediate humanitarian pause which would allow for the safe release of hostages and more aid going into Gaza so that we create that sustainable conditions for a long term and enduring cease-fire.”

“That is what our diplomatic efforts are focused on. And that is what I impressed upon the Israeli prime minister last week when I spoke to him.”

Flynn reminded Sunak that the House of Commons “will have the opportunity to join with the majority of the international community and say that enough is enough that the killing in Gaza must stop and that the hostages must be released.”

“And the best way to do that is to send a clear and united message that we back an immediate cease-fire. Surely all of us, irrespective of our political allegiance, can agree on that very issue,” Flynn added.

Sunak said he wanted to see the fighting in Gaza end as soon as possible and “never again allow Hamas to carry out the appalling terrorist attacks, that Israel was subjected to.”

“But just calling for an immediate full cease-fire now, which collapses back into fighting within days or weeks is not in anyone’s interest,” the prime minister added.

He also said that “we must work towards a permanent cease-fire” and back a US resolution, “which is for an immediate humanitarian pause to get hostages out and aid in so that we then can create the conditions for a sustainable cease-fire.”

The House of Commons will hold a vote on an SNP motion asking for an “immediate cease-fire” in Gaza on Wednesday.(T/R3/RE1)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)