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‘We want you to win,’ British Prime Minister Sunak says during solidarity visit in Israel

Sunak will hold further meetings in capitals across the region

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak issue statements, Oct. 19, 2023 (Photo: Amos Ben-Gershom/GPO)

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak landed in Israel on Thursday morning to show solidarity with “a country in grief,” as he wrote on X, formerly Twitter.

“I grieve with you and stand with you against the evil that is terrorism. Today, and always,” Sunak wrote, adding the word solidariyut (solidarity) in Hebrew letters.

Sunak met with Israel’s President Isaac Herzog, before meeting with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

He was welcomed with warm words.

“The moment calls for us to understand who is our friend, who is with us. And you've been with us from the first moment, we are extremely grateful, Prime Minister, for your support, your decisions, and your leadership in this respect, and we welcome you with an open heart,” Herzog told him.

Israeli President Isaac Herzog meets with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak issue statements, Oct. 19, 2023 (Photo: Kobi Gidon/GPO)

The British leader told his prime ministerial colleague Netanyahu during a joint press conference: “I am proud to stand here with you in Israel’s darkest hour as your friend. We will stand with you in solidarity, we will stand with your people, and we also want you to win.”

Both leaders referenced the famous phrase ascribed to British Prime Minister Winston Churchill during World War II.

Netanyahu stated, “The Western world stood with you 80 years ago during your darkest hour, this is our darkest hour.”

Sunak welcomed Israel’s decision to allow humanitarian aid to enter Gaza from Egypt, following discussions with U.S. President Joe Biden.

“I know you are taking every precaution to avoid harming civilians, in direct contrast to the terrorists of Hamas, which seek to put civilians in harm’s way,” he added.

The two also agreed to work toward preventing further escalation of violence in the region.

During Herzog's time with Sunak, he couldn’t help but mention the recent controversy over the British BBC network refusing to call Hamas a “terror organization.”

“I know that in modern democracies, like ours and yours, you can't interfere per se, but since the BBC has a certain linkage and is known as British all over the world, there has to be an outcry for it to be corrected… What else do they need to see to understand that this is an atrocious terror organization?” Herzog asked.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Oct. 19, 2023 (Photo: Amos Ben-Gershom/GPO)

Sunak responded: “We will stand with you in solidarity … to bring security back to your country, to your people, to ensure the safe return of the hostages that have been taken. You have not just a right to do that, I think you have a duty to do that, to restore that security to your country.”

Sunak is expected to meet with other leaders in the region after departing Israel.

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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