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Starmer highlights concerns in first call with Israeli PM Netanyahu

1 min

British Prime Minister Keir Starmer called for "prudence" at the Israel-Lebanon border during his first phone conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday. Starmer emphasized the deeply troubling situation at Israel's northern border and stressed the importance of all parties acting with caution.

British Prime Minister Keir Starmer © X

British Prime Minister Keir Starmer called for "prudence" at the Israel-Lebanon border during his first phone conversation with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday. Starmer emphasized the deeply troubling situation at Israel's northern border and stressed the importance of all parties acting with caution.

The ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, which began on October 7 following a deadly Hamas attack on Israeli territory, risks escalating into a regional war. Daily exchanges of fire between Israel and Hezbollah, a pro-Iranian ally of Hamas, on both sides of the border have heightened tensions. S

tarmer reiterated the UK's position in the Israel-Hamas conflict in Gaza, underscoring "the clear and urgent need for a ceasefire, the release of hostages, and an immediate increase in humanitarian aid" to the Palestinian territory.

Diplomatic efforts have intensified in recent days, with Israel announcing the dispatch of a delegation next week to continue negotiations with Qatari mediators. 

Starmer advocated for long-term conditions to achieve a two-state solution, including ensuring that the Palestinian Authority has the financial means to function effectively. He also pledged to continue cooperation with Israel against "malicious threats."

Starmer also held discussions with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, expressing his positions and priorities regarding the regional situation. He emphasized the need to end the "devastating suffering and human losses in Gaza."

Starmer affirmed that the existence of a Palestinian state is an "inalienable right of the Palestinians," according to a Downing Street spokesperson. 

The conflict in the Middle East has had significant repercussions in the recent UK parliamentary elections, which saw a decisive victory for the Labour Party. However, Labour lost many votes and some seats to independent candidates who criticized Starmer's stance as being too pro-Israel.

In conclusion, Prime Minister Keir Starmer's engagement with both Israeli and Palestinian leaders marks a proactive approach to addressing the complex and volatile situation in the Middle East, with a strong emphasis on humanitarian needs and long-term peace solutions.

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