Sunak urges Israel to use ‘all possible measures to protect innocent civilians’ in Gaza

The latest Jewish News

Read this week’s digital edition

Click Here

Sunak urges Israel to use ‘all possible measures to protect innocent civilians’ in Gaza

Both the prime minister and senior figures in the Labour Party are voicing concerns about the mounting death toll in Gaza

Lee Harpin is the Jewish News's political editor

Sunak delivers speech at the Guildhall
Sunak delivers speech at the Guildhall

Rushi Sunak has urged Israel to “take all possible measures to protect innocent civilians” in Gaza in an apparent shift of tone in the government’s response to the war against Hamas.

In a speech on foreign policy delivered at the Lord Mayor’s Banquet at the Guildhall, London, on Monday night, the prime minister stressed:”Israel must be able to defend itself against terror, restore its security and bring the hostages home.”

He then added:”But there are things that Israel must do as part of its response.”Restating the need to conduct a war with the rules of international law, Sunak said Israel “must take all possible measures to protect innocent civilians, including at hospitals, stop extremist violence in the West Bank and allow more aid into Gaza.”

He continued:”Mahmoud Abbas, the President of the Palestinian Authority, described to me the terrible suffering of the Palestinian people. Too many civilians are losing their lives.”

Praising the work of new Home Secretary James Cleverly in his role as foreign secretary, Sunak warned:”These are deeply challenging times for our world.

“Events far beyond our shores echo here at home with implications for our security, our economy, and our very social fabric.

“It falls to us to do everything we can to shape these events.”

Speaking on Tuesday, foreign office minister Andrew Mitchell said: “All parties to a conflict must afford civilians the protection that is their right under international law,”

“That includes respecting the sanctity of hospitals so that doctors can continue to care for the sick and injured.”

Mitchell said it was “impossible to comprehend the pain and loss that innocent Palestinians are enduring in Gaza” since Israel launched its offensive.

“Hospitals… should be places of safety, able to treat patients with compassion,” he added.

“It is distressing to see them unable to do so. Every civilian death is heartbreaking.”

Rachel Reeves addresses the LFI lunch

Meanwhile, there was also clear signs of a more critical stance over the way Israel was conducting the war in Gaza, from senior Labour figures as well.

In the Commons on Tuesday, David Lammy claimed Israel “must make changes” to its approach to military action in Gaza, to ensure the protection of civilian lives.

Although, in a clear reference to Jeremy Corbyn’s failure to label Hamas a terror organisation during an interview on Talk TV with Piers Morgan, Lammy told MPs:”I’d like to register my shock that not every member of this house can say Hamas are terrorists.”

Shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves also told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I’m incredibly concerned about the scenes we’re seeing in Gaza, particularly at the hospitals.

“I understand and respect the need for Israel to bring its hostages home and to defeat Hamas.

“But what is happening to innocent civilians and particularly babies in that hospital is heartbreaking and I would urge Israel to show restraint – to show restraint, allow water, medicine, fuel into Gaza and into those hospitals.”

She called on the UK government and international allies “to put more pressure on [Benjamin] Netanyahu’s government to show the restraint that we’re not seeing at the moment”.

Support your Jewish community. Support your Jewish News

Thank you for helping to make Jewish News the leading source of news and opinion for the UK Jewish community. Today we're asking for your invaluable help to continue putting our community first in everything we do.

For as little as £5 a month you can help sustain the vital work we do in celebrating and standing up for Jewish life in Britain.

Jewish News holds our community together and keeps us connected. Like a synagogue, it’s where people turn to feel part of something bigger. It also proudly shows the rest of Britain the vibrancy and rich culture of modern Jewish life.

You can make a quick and easy one-off or monthly contribution of £5, £10, £20 or any other sum you’re comfortable with.

100% of your donation will help us continue celebrating our community, in all its dynamic diversity...


Being a community platform means so much more than producing a newspaper and website. One of our proudest roles is media partnering with our invaluable charities to amplify the outstanding work they do to help us all.


There’s no shortage of oys in the world but Jewish News takes every opportunity to celebrate the joys too, through projects like Night of Heroes, 40 Under 40 and other compelling countdowns that make the community kvell with pride.


In the first collaboration between media outlets from different faiths, Jewish News worked with British Muslim TV and Church Times to produce a list of young activists leading the way on interfaith understanding.


Royal Mail issued a stamp honouring Holocaust hero Sir Nicholas Winton after a Jewish News campaign attracted more than 100,000 backers. Jewish Newsalso produces special editions of the paper highlighting pressing issues including mental health and Holocaust remembrance.

Easy access

In an age when news is readily accessible, Jewish News provides high-quality content free online and offline, removing any financial barriers to connecting people.

Voice of our community to wider society

The Jewish News team regularly appears on TV, radio and on the pages of the national press to comment on stories about the Jewish community. Easy access to the paper on the streets of London also means Jewish News provides an invaluable window into the community for the country at large.

We hope you agree all this is worth preserving.

read more: