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Business News/ News / World/  Too many have been killed: UK's Prince William pleas for end of Gaza war
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Too many have been killed: UK's Prince William pleas for end of Gaza war

Prince William urges an immediate end to the Israel-Hamas conflict in Gaza, emphasising human suffering and the need for peace to prevent further loss of life.

41-year-old Prince William paid a visit to the British Red Cross headquarters in London, on February 20 (Cameron Smith / POOL / AFP)Premium
41-year-old Prince William paid a visit to the British Red Cross headquarters in London, on February 20 (Cameron Smith / POOL / AFP)

Britain's Prince William issued a passionate plea on February 20, urging an immediate end to the Israel-Hamas conflict in Gaza. He emphasised the immense human suffering endured in the enclave, stressing the urgent need for peace to prevent further loss of life, according to a report by Reuters.

In an unexpected move for a member of the royal family, Prince William highlighted the critical importance of delivering aid to Gaza's population and demanded the release of hostages held by Hamas.

"I remain deeply concerned about the terrible human cost of the conflict in the Middle East since the Hamas terrorist attack (on Israel) on October 7. Too many have been killed," William said in a statement, the report added.

William's office stated that in 2018, he achieved the milestone of being the first senior British royal to undertake an official visit to both Israel and the occupied Palestinian territory. Since then, he has maintained a close interest in the region, according to his office, the report added.

In response to Prince William, Israeli government spokesman Eylon Levy said: "Israelis, of course, want to see an end to the fighting as soon as possible, and that will be possible once the 134 hostages are released, and once the Hamas terror army threatening to repeat the October 7 atrocities is dismantled."

Kensington Palace added that Britain's Foreign Office had been briefed about William's statement before he made it.

"Sometimes it is only when faced with the sheer scale of human suffering that the importance of permanent peace is brought home," he said, as quoted by Reuters.

The 41-year-old prince paid a visit to the British Red Cross headquarters in London, on February 20, where he learned about their efforts to assist individuals impacted by conflicts in the Middle East.

"I, like so many others, want to see an end to the fighting as soon as possible," he said. "There is a desperate need for increased humanitarian support to Gaza. It’s critical that aid gets in and the hostages are released."

In a further comment, Israel's Levy said: "We appreciate the Prince of Wales’ call for Hamas to free the hostages. We also recall with gratitude his statement from October 11 condemning Hamas’ terror attacks and reaffirming Israel’s right of self-defence against them."

Next week, William is scheduled to visit a synagogue where he will engage with young individuals actively combating hatred and antisemitism. Last year marked a distressing peak in antisemitic incidents in Britain, as reported by a Jewish advisory body.

As his father, King Charles, is presently on a hiatus from official public duties due to cancer treatment, there's anticipation for William to assume more prominent roles.

Charles has called the Hamas attacks in southern Israel "barbaric acts of terrorism", and also appealed for greater religious tolerance at a time of "international turmoil".

Worldwide calls for immediate end to Gaza conflict

Calls for an immediate halt to the conflict in Gaza have intensified globally in recent weeks, particularly as Israel prepares to extend its ground offensive to the southern city of Rafah. This area has become a refuge for over 1 million of the 2.3 million Palestinians in Gaza.

Local health authorities report that more than 29,000 Palestinians have lost their lives in the conflict. The escalation began when Israel invaded the enclave in response to a Hamas attack, resulting in the deaths of 1,200 people, predominantly civilians, and the capture of 253 hostages.

 

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Published: 21 Feb 2024, 07:34 AM IST
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