UK to discuss humanitarian pause in Gaza, not a ceasefire, – PM spokesperson

The UK will discuss a humanitarian pause in Gaza but believes a ceasefire would only benefit Hamas, the prime minister’s spokesperson has said. 

The comments come as the United Nations prepares to vote on the rival proposals later today. 

Some countries have argued a humanitarian pause would allow aid shipments to enter the Palestinian enclave to help tackle shortages of food, water and energy. 

Others, including Russia, have called for an entire ceasefire.  

“A wholesale ceasefire would only serve to benefit Hamas,” Rishi Sunak’s spokesperson said.

“Humanitarian pauses – which are temporary, which are limited in scope – can be an operational tool, and obviously that is something we could consider, and have been discussing.”

The spokesperson also said the government did not agree with UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres’s comments that the attacks by Hamas earlier this month “did not happen in a vacuum”, which have sparked an angry response from Israel.

“We don’t agree with that characterisation that’s been put forward,” the spokesperson said of Mr Guterres’ remarks. 

“We are clear there is and can be no justification for Hamas’s barbaric terrorist attack.”

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