US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly recently had a phone conversation in which they addressed several key issues, including the Israel-Hamas conflict, the imperative of humanitarian access to Gaza for Palestinian civilians, and the immediate release of hostages.
According to an official statement, both leaders affirmed Israel’s legitimate right to self-defense and explored collaborative measures with regional partners to de-escalate the conflict and secure the safe release of hostages. In a statement, the US Department of State’s Matthew Miller reported, “Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken had a conversation with UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly. During this exchange, Secretary Blinken and Foreign Secretary Cleverly reiterated Israel’s right to self-defense, discussed their engagement with regional partners to prevent further escalation of the conflict, and ensured the safe release of hostages. They also stressed the importance of delivering sustained humanitarian aid to the civilians in Gaza.” Additionally, James Cleverly engaged in discussions with his Israeli counterpart, Eli Cohen, and reaffirmed the UK’s support for Israel’s right to self-defense, in accordance with international humanitarian law.
Cleverly shared his perspective on social media, stating, “Today @JamesCleverly spoke to @elicoh1 and reiterated our support for Israel’s self-defense in accordance with international humanitarian law. The Foreign Secretary also spoke to @SecBlinken to help prevent regional escalation and called for humanitarian pauses to facilitate the delivery of life-saving aid to civilians.” Both the US and the UK strongly condemned the attack by Hamas on Israel and expressed their unwavering support for Israel’s right to self-defense in response to the actions taken by Hamas on October 7. Earlier this month, both US President Joe Biden and UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak visited Israel to show their solidarity with Tel Aviv during the ongoing conflict with Hamas.
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have provided updates on their ongoing ground operations in the northern part of the Gaza Strip. These operations are specifically targeting Hamas militants and the facilities associated with the group. The IDF has reported the successful elimination of several terrorists as their ground forces continue to expand their presence in the northern Gaza region. The IDF spokesperson has highlighted the disturbing tactic employed by Hamas, which involves using the civilian population of Gaza as human shields during the ongoing offensive. The IDF underscores its commitment to distinguishing between terrorists and civilians in its operations. In addition to the ground operations, the Israel Air Force conducted an airstrike on a terrorist cell located in the Mount Dov region. This particular cell had been involved in carrying out missions directed toward Israeli territory.