UK to deploy aircraft, Royal Navy ships to Eastern Mediterranean 'to support Israel'

'We must be unequivocal in making sure the types of horrific scenes we have seen this week will not be repeated,' says Premier Rishi Sunak

09:47 - 13/10/2023 vendredi
File Photo
File Photo

Britain will send patrol, surveillance aircraft and two Royal Navy ships to Eastern Mediterranean "to support Israel," according to Prime Minister's Office on Thursday.

"The Prime Minister (Rishi Sunak) has directed UK military assets to be deployed to the eastern Mediterranean to support Israel, reinforce regional stability and prevent escalation," the Number 10 said in a statement.

It added that maritime patrol and surveillance aircraft will begin flying in the region as of Friday "to track threats to regional stability such as the transfer of weapons to terrorist groups."

"Meanwhile, Royal Navy task group will be moved to the eastern Mediterranean next week as a contingency measure to support humanitarian efforts," said the statement.

"We must be unequivocal in making sure the types of horrific scenes we have seen this week will not be repeated. Alongside our allies, the deployment of our world class military will support efforts to ensure regional stability and prevent further escalation", Sunak said in the statement.

The British premier expected to speak to northern European leaders about the situation in Israel at the Joint Expeditionary Force summit in Sweden on Friday.

The conflict began when Hamas initiated Operation Al-Aqsa Flood against Israel, a multi-pronged surprise attack including a barrage of rocket launches and infiltrations into Israel via land, sea, and air.

Hamas said the offensive was in retaliation for the storming of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem and Israeli settlers’ growing violence against Palestinians.

In response, the Israeli military launched Operation Swords of Iron against Hamas targets within the Gaza Strip.

Israel's response has extended into cutting water and electricity supplies to Gaza, further worsening the living conditions in an area that has reeled under a crippling siege since 2007.

More than 2,700 people have been killed since the outbreak of the conflict on Saturday, including over 1,400 Palestinians and 1,300 Israelis.

#eastern Mediterranean
#Rishi Sunak
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