British Foreign Secretary David Cameron is set to visit Jordan and Egypt this week in a concerted effort to advocate for a sustainable ceasefire and humanitarian relief in the Gaza Strip. This visit, reported by Anadolu, comes in the wake of devastating Israeli attacks in Gaza, which have resulted in over 19,600 Palestinian casualties and widespread displacement.
Accompanied by Middle East Secretary Lord Ahmad, Cameron's trip marks his second diplomatic engagement in the region. The UK Foreign Office outlined the objectives of this visit in a statement on Wednesday, emphasizing the critical need for a ceasefire that addresses key issues such as the release of prisoners and the cessation of rocket fire on Israel.
A Shift in UK Policy and the Path Forward
Cameron's stance reflects a recent shift in the UK Government's policy. Previously, the UK had refrained from calling for a ceasefire, reiterating Israel's right to self-defense. However, the escalating crisis and its humanitarian impact have prompted a change in approach.
"No one wants to see this conflict go on for a moment longer than necessary. But for a ceasefire to work, it needs to be sustainable," Cameron stated. He highlighted the challenges in achieving a long-term solution, noting that ongoing hostilities, particularly Hamas's tactics and rocket fire, undermine the prospects of a sustainable ceasefire and, ultimately, a two-state solution.Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has also voiced concerns, emphasizing the need for a "sustainable ceasefire" in light of the significant loss of life due to Israeli bombing.
"If Israel is still facing Hamas in Gaza with rockets and terror tactics, not only will a ceasefire not be sustainable, a two-state solution in the longer term will also not be possible," he added.
The conflict has left the Gaza Strip in dire straits. Israeli air and ground attacks, particularly since the Hamas attack on October 7, have not only resulted in thousands of casualties but have also devastated the infrastructure.
Approximately half of the housing stock in the coastal territory is damaged or destroyed, displacing around two million people within the densely populated enclave.