Britain PM Sunak 'set to visit' Israel this week amid Gaza war: UK media

Britain PM Sunak 'set to visit' Israel this week amid Gaza war: UK media
Sunak will reportedly visit Israel this week, according to UK channel Sky News, as the country continues its assault on Gaza, killing at least 3,300 Palestinians.
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Throughout the Israeli war on Gaza, Sunak has stressed Israel's "right to defend itself" [Getty]

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is set to visit Israel this week, Sky News reported on Tuesday without citing sources.

A Downing Street spokesperson declined to confirm the report, saying Sunak's travel plans would be confirmed in the usual way.

Last week, foreign minister James Cleverly travelled to Israel, where he said the UK was supportive of what he called "Israel's right to defend itself" but urged it to "show restraint in any military action against Hamas" in order to "minimise harm to civilians."

Israel has relentlessly and indiscriminately bombarded the Gaza Strip since October 7, after an unprecedented cross-border attack by the Palestinian enclave's Hamas rulers.

Israeli strikes have killed at least 3,300 since the war began over a week ago, with the death toll likely to be higher following a devastating strike reportedly carried out by Israel on Gaza's Al-Ahli hospital on Tuesday, which has killed at least 500 Palestinians.

The Hamas attack on Israel killed around 1,400 Israeli civilians and soldiers and the group captured an estimated 200 hostages, taking them to the Gaza Strip.

On Monday Sunak told parliament that he supported "absolutely" Israel's "right to defend itself", to go after Hamas, take back hostages and strengthen its long-term security.

"This must be done in line with international humanitarian law, but also recognising that they face a vicious enemy that embeds itself behind civilians," Sunak said.

"As a friend, we will continue to call on Israel to take every possible precaution to avoid harming civilians."

Earlier on Tuesday, Sunak spoke with the leaders of Saudi Arabia and Qatar, stressing how important it was for the conflict not to spread across the region. 

Israel, throughout its assault on Gaza, has targeted hospitals, residential buildings, and other infrastructure, drawing condemnation from rights groups and NGOs.

Israel has also imposed a complete siege on the enclave, which it has blockaded since 2007, completely cutting off water, fuel and food.

(Reuters and The New Arab Staff)