Press Releases

PRESS RELEASE : Rishi Sunak call with Prime Minister Netanyahu of Israel [October 2023]

The press release issued by 10 Downing Street on 13 October 2023.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak spoke to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on 12 October 2023.

The Prime Minister spoke to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on 12 October, to reaffirm the UK’s steadfast support for Israel following Hamas’ appalling terrorist attack.

The Prime Minister passed on again the deep condolences of the British people for all those killed, injured or kidnapped in this unconscionable tragedy, the true scale and horror of which is only just becoming clear. Prime Minister Netanyahu thanked the UK for its solidarity, including in the visit of the Foreign Secretary to Israel this week.

The leaders discussed Israel’s response against Hamas in Gaza and the Prime Minister confirmed that the UK had authorised the sending of a significant support package to the region, including RAF surveillance aircraft, two Royal Navy ships to patrol in the Eastern Mediterranean, three Merlin helicopters and a detachment of Royal Marines. The additional military assistance would be deployed in the coming days to bolster security in the wider region and mitigate any attempts to escalate the conflict.

He reiterated that the UK stands side by side with Israel in fighting terror and agreed that Hamas can never again be able to perpetrate atrocities against the Israeli people. Noting that Hamas has enmeshed itself in the civilian population in Gaza, the Prime Minister said it was important to take all possible measures to protect ordinary Palestinians and facilitate humanitarian aid.

He also updated on his call with Egypt’s President Sisi this morning, including their discussion on the importance of opening the Rafah crossing to allow for humanitarian access and provide a route for British and other nationals to leave Gaza.

They agreed to remain in close contact and to explore any further support the UK can provide.