British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak was set to arrive in Israel on Thursday amid the ongoing war between the Jewish state and the Hamas terror group in the Gaza Strip.
Sunak will meet with Prime Minister and Author Benjamin Netanyahu and other officials before traveling to other regional countries in a bid to prevent the fighting from spiraling into a broader war, according to his office.
“Every civilian death is a tragedy,” said Sunak in a statement ahead of his departure. “And too many lives have been lost following Hamas’s horrific act of terror.
“The attack on Al Ahli Hospital should be a watershed moment for leaders in the region and across the world to come together to avoid further dangerous escalation of conflict,” added the statement.
The Israel Defense Forces confirmed on Wednesday that a failed Palestinian Islamic Jihad rocket launch caused the explosion outside the hospital in Gaza the previous night.
“According to our intelligence, Hamas checked the reports, understood it was an Islamic Jihad rocket that had misfired—and decided to launch a global media campaign to hide what really happened,” explained IDF Spokesman Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari on Wednesday.
“They went as far as inflating the number of casualties. They understood, with absolute certainty, that it was a rocket misfired by Islamic Jihad that damaged the hospital,” he added.
Sunak’s visit comes a day after U.S. President Joe Biden paid a solidarity visit to the Jewish state.
“To the people of Israel, your courage and commitment is stunning. I’m proud to be here,” said the American president.
Netanyahu greeted Biden at the Ben-Gurion Airport tarmac along with President Isaac Herzog and other senior officials, before heading to the Kempinski Hotel on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea to hold meetings.
“You have drawn a clear line between forces of civilization and barbarism, sheer evil,” Netanyahu told Biden.
The Israeli leader compared the Oct. 7 Hamas massacre of more than 1,400 people in communities near the Gaza Strip as comparable in proportion to over 50,000 Americans murdered in a single day, saying it was like 20 9/11s.
“For the people of Israel, there is only one thing better than having a true friend like you with Israel, and that is standing in Israel as the first U.S. sitting president to visit Israel in a time of war, it is deeply moving and speaks to the depth of support for Israel,” Netanyahu said.
On Tuesday, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz visited Israel, and French President Emmanuel Macron will also reportedly travel to the Jewish state.
Produced in association with Jewish News Syndicate