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Dhaka Tribune

UK’s Sunak arrives in Israel

  • British PM has landed in Tel Aviv to hold meetings with Israeli officials
  • Dozens killed as Israeli air raids continue to target Gaza overnight
  • Egypt sends equipment to repair roads at crossing for aid
Update : 19 Oct 2023, 05:27 PM

Israel pounded Gaza with more air strikes on Thursday, as British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak followed US President Joe Biden on visits to demonstrate support for the war against Hamas while urging Israel to ease the plight of besieged Gazans.

Biden flew home on Wednesday night after an eight-hour trip having pledged to assist Israel's defence.

But he appeared to have only limited success in his other mission, to persuade Israel to ease the plight of 2.3 million Gazans under a total siege.

Biden said he had secured an offer from Egypt to allow 20 aid trucks to reach Gaza in coming days, though a fraction of the 100 per day that UN aid chief Martin Griffiths told the Security Council were needed.

Two Egyptian security sources said equipment was sent on Thursday through the crossing to repair roads on the Gaza side for aid to cross. More than 100 trucks were waiting on the Egyptian side although they were not expected to cross until Friday.

Before he left, Biden told Israelis in a speech: "While you feel that rage, don’t be consumed by it. After 9/11, we were enraged in the United States. And while we sought justice and got justice, we also made mistakes."

Later he told reporters aboard Air Force One: "Israel has been badly victimized but the truth is they have an opportunity to relieve suffering of people who have nowhere to go... it's what they should do."

Israel said it would allow limited aid to reach Gaza from Egypt provided none of it benefited Hamas.

And it made clear there would be no let-up in its bombing campaign: "In the Gaza Strip, every place where Hamas has touched or is touching will be struck and destroyed," a colonel identified as the commander of Israel's Ramat David air base told public broadcaster Kan.

"We really are a war machine that knows how to do two or three times what is being done now."

Sunak landed in Tel Aviv hours after Biden left, carrying similar messages of support and condolence for Israelis.

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