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Cameron has ‘tough’ conversation with Israeli minister over Gaza aid access

Foreign Secretary Lord David Cameron said he had a “tough but necessary” conversation with Israeli minister Benny Gantz about the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

The former prime minister said ensuring the availability of aid in Gaza would be a factor when the UK assesses whether Israel is acting in line with international law.

Mr Gantz, a former general, is a domestic political rival of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu but was drafted in to the war cabinet formed in the wake of the October 7 Hamas attacks.

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Benny Gantz speaks to the media outside Carlton Gardens, central London, following a meeting with Foreign Secretary Lord David Cameron (Aaron Chown/PA)

Following their meeting, Lord Cameron said: “Palestinians are facing a devastating and growing humanitarian crisis.

“In my meeting with Israeli minister Benny Gantz today, we discussed efforts to secure a humanitarian pause to get the hostages safely home and lifesaving supplies into Gaza.

“I once again pressed Israel to increase the flow of aid. We are still not seeing improvements on the ground. This must change.”

Lord Cameron set out the UK’s call for an immediate humanitarian pause in the fighting, increased capacity for aid distribution within Gaza and greater access for supplies through both land and maritime routes.

He also called for a wider variety of aid items to be allowed into Gaza, including shelters and items critical to repair the infrastructure destroyed during the Israeli military campaign.

In a warning about the UK’s position on the Gaza conflict, Lord Cameron said: “The UK supports Israel’s right to self defence. But as the occupying power in Gaza, Israel has a legal responsibility to ensure aid is available for civilians.

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Benny Gantz and Lord Cameron met in central London (Aaron Chown/PA)

“That responsibility has consequences, including when we as the UK assess whether Israel is compliant with international humanitarian law.”

He stressed that the UK was “deeply concerned” about the prospect of a military offensive in Rafah, the city in southern Gaza close to the border with Egypt which is providing shelter to more than a million people displaced by the violence.