Cameron tells Jewish Care lunch of ‘horizon’ for ‘future Palestinian state’

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Cameron tells Jewish Care lunch of ‘horizon’ for ‘future Palestinian state’

The foreign secretary has set out his vision of turning a 'pause' to fighting in Gaza into a sustainable end to the conflict between Israel and Hamas

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

David Cameron addresses FCDO HMD reception
David Cameron addresses FCDO HMD reception

David Cameron has told a packed Jewish Care lunch of his hope that a “pause” in fighting in Gaza could turn into a “sustainable ceasefire” that eventually leads to a “horizon towards a Palestinian state, not involving Hamas.”

But the foreign secretary  accepted that that was not guarantee the “five step” plan would work, and if Hamas were not removed from Gaza, Israel would “have every right” to say “we have to go back in and finish the job.”

Taking part in a question and answer session with the Conservative peer and commentator Danny Finkelstein, the foreign secretary accepted he was entering into “controversial” subject matter when he called for a “pause” in fighting between Israel and Hamas that would allow the release of the hostages, before attempts were made to turn this break into hostilities in to a proper end to the conflict.

Cameron warned guests at the lunch that the hostages still held by Hamas, including those with “deep connections” to this country are not going to make it unless we get them out soon.”

He told the lunch, which was attended by one thousand guests, “You can only do that if you fulfill a number of conditions. I’ll set those out. That is the release of all of the hostages.

“The dismantling of the terror machine in Gaza, the removal of the Hamas leadership, including those responsible for October 7th, either surrendering or going to another country.

“It is a new Palestinian government appointed by the Palestinian Authority with technocrats who can start delivering things on the ground in Gaza and the West Bank.

“And the more controversially, perhaps particularly here, is a horizon towards a future for the Palestinians, not involving Hamas, that could evolve over time into a Palestinian state.”

Cameron accepted the five steps offered “some chance” of going from a pause to a ceasefire, but added:”If it doesn’t work,  and it might not, I fully accept Israel would have every right  to say ‘that hasn’t worked, we can’t live with the Hamas leadership still in Gaza, we have to go back in and finish the job.'”

The foreign secretary’s stance on the conflict has often appeared to differ from that of Rishi Sunak’s in recent weeks.

But some government insiders say the prime minister is happy to allow the former PM the opportunity to lead on the issue while he concentrates on domestic affairs.

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