Special Briefing Day 154: Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron: Hamas should “sign up to the deal Israel has agreed…today”

By March 08 2024, 18:43 Latest News No Comments

Note to reader: We wanted to give you a trigger warning on what you may read below. We have chosen, as with every one of these briefings, to not share horrific images, however we want to alert you as sensitively as we can to the reports coming out of Israel and Gaza.

Leader of the House Penny Mordaunt joins the #BringBackOurGirls for International Women’s Day on X

Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron: Hamas should “sign up to the deal Israel has agreed…today”

Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron urged for the terror group Hamas to “sign up to the deal Israel has agreed…today”, on Sky News earlier.

“We say to Hamas that they should release these hostages”, Lord Cameron told Sky News and other press. “Think of these families”, he continued, describing the hostages’ “appalling captivity”.

Having met with hostage families and the released hostages themselves, Cameron noted that “the things they tell you about what they saw and what their family members had to undergo – it is horrifying”.

He added, “let’s remember that there is a group of people that can stop this conflict right now, and that is Hamas. They could sign up to this hostage deal, they could release the hostages, they could in fact lay down their weapons and leave Gaza, and give the Palestinian people a chance of a proper future and we mustn’t ever forget that there is something they can do”.

Leader of the House of Commons Penny Mordaunt raises UN report on Hamas sexual violence

“This week the UN published its report on the sexual violence suffered by Israeli women and girls on 7 October. It looked at over 5,000 photographs and over 50 hours of footage of those attacks, and it concluded that there was evidence at the Nova music festival of rape, gang rape and murder”, stated Leader of the House of Commons Penny Mordaunt.

“It is the most appalling situation, and I am glad that the UN now has that evidence on record and has produced that report,” she continued.

Referring to the Israeli hostages held captive by Hamas in Gaza, she said that, “we cannot let these poor women and girls suffer what they must be suffering a moment longer. We must bring them home”.

“Of those women and girls still kept hostage, the youngest is 19 and the oldest is 70. We can only imagine the horrors they are facing”, Mordaunt had outlined.

Mordaunt’s pledge came after comments by former Attorney General Rt. Hon. Sir Michael Ellis KC MP, who urged the Leader of the House to “join me in marking International Women’s Day by supporting the campaign called #BringBackOurGirls”, and to “send a message to their families, who are enduring unimaginable pain and the living nightmare of these young women being in the hands of vicious rapist terrorists”. He highlighted that Wednesday marked “five months since the barbaric Hamas attack on Israel. Of the 134 hostages still cruelly held by Hamas, 19 are women, and of those, five are teenage girls”.

Upload a picture on social media with the #BringBackOurGirls to join the campaign to raise awareness of the women and girls held hostage by Hamas this International Women’s Day today

Business and International Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch: Advancing UK-Israel Free Trade Agreement will “modernise and upgrade” relations

Business and International Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch said during Business Questions on Wednesday that the UK aims to “modernise and upgrade our relations with Israel” and its “world-leading tech sector” through the planned Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

Badenoch told the House of Commons that she held a “productive meeting with Israel’s Minister of Economy, Nir Barkat, last week in Abu Dhabi” to discuss trading relations and “managing the challenges of working on an FTA while fighting a war”.

She added that her Department “held a virtual negotiating meeting” with Israel “focused primarily on services” to advance the UK-Israel Free Trade Agreement (FTA).

Her remarks followed questions by CFI Parliamentary Officers Nicola Richards MP and Bob Blackman CBE MP, who raised recent progress on “negotiating a Free Trade Agreement with Israel”.

“Israel is facing immense challenges in its war with Hamas, but it is known around the world as a start-up nation thanks to its extraordinary tech sector, which Brits benefit from every day”, said Nicola Richards MP. “Enormous opportunities” will be offered to the UK by a “bespoke free trade agreement with Israel”, Richards told the House of Commons.

Badenoch also said that the negotiations were a “priority”. She raised that “Israel’s current relationship with the UK is worth about £6.4 billion”, but that “there is a lot that we can do” with a prospective FTA, including deeper trade in “account services, digital, artificial intelligence or genome sequencing”. The UK is “working to overcome” the “challenges” of wartime negotiation.

The statement was in response to Greg Smith MP, who called Israel “one of the United Kingdom’s most dynamic trading partners”. He said that “prioritising” an FTA “will complement the good work that the Government are doing to defeat the haters as part of the Economic Activity of Public Bodies (Overseas Matters) Bill, and send an unmistakeable message that the UK stands ready to strengthen our unbreakable friendship with Israel”.

The Business and International Trade Secretary also said that around “500 Israeli firms operate in the United Kingdom. That investment from overseas is creating thousands of jobs in high-value sectors, and a free trade agreement will help to increase the investment”.

Gaza aid incident IDF probe concluded: IDF fired at individual “threats” – not aid trucks

The IDF probe into the reported deaths of 115 Gazan Palestinians as they stampeded aid trucks on 29 February has been completed.

The probe found that IDF troops did not open fire on the convoy itself as Hamas had claimed, but fired at several specific Gazans who moved toward their checkpoint and who constituted a “threat” to those stationed there.

“The IDF places great importance on the humanitarian efforts, and makes many efforts to facilitate humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip and to improve the existing mechanisms”, stated the IDF.

The probe outlined that at 4:15 a.m., troops conducted a patrol along the delivery route. At 4:29 a.m., the convoy starting moving along the route – accompanied by IDF tanks. Only a minute later, Palestinians swarmed the trucks from the east and west – looting the equipment and reaching numbers of around 12,000. The IDF then began to set off cautionary fire to deter suspects from approaching.

At 4:33 a.m., troops had spotted the bodies of Palestinians amongst the crowds. When Palestinians began to advance toward IDF positions at 4:45, the troops fired precisely at the threat.

At 4:51 a.m., the convoy was halted by a blockade of Palestinian vehicles on the truck’s route. At 5:00 a.m., the IDF began to withdraw, and half an hour later – the convoy reached its intended delivery zone.

The General Staff Fact-Finding Assessment Mechanism, an independent body designed to investigate unusual incidents amid the war, will continue to assess the situation.

Hostage underwent plastic surgery, not attractive enough to be sexually assaulted – senior Hamas official Osama Hamdan

An Israeli hostage underwent plastic surgery because she thought she was not attractive enough to be sexually assaulted – according to senior Hamas official Osama Hamdan.

The Hamas official made the offensive claim to Hezbollah-linked Mayadeen TV, blasting the recently released UN report on Hamas’ sexual crimes comitted on 7 October and against Israeli hostages.

Hamdan accused the report of not being “based on any evidence”, with “only the Israeli narrative was heard” and that “the report is the opposite of the facts”.

Humanitarian aid facilitated by Israel as of yesterday (COGAT on X)

UK, U.S. and France request UN Security Council to convene on Hamas sexual violence reports

Following the release of a UN report which accused Hamas of committing sexual violence on 7 October and against Israeli hostages, the UK, U.S. and France have requested an emergency UN Security Council session.

The calls come as a “big victory for justice and morality”, according to the Israeli Foreign Minister, Israel Katz, calling them “an important step to returning the hostages home”.

Foreign Minister Katz thanked the countries for their request and is expecting “additional countries” to join.

Gilad Erdan, Israel’s Ambassador to the UN, has urged the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres to convene the body.

The report, lead by UN special representative for sexual violence in conflict, Pramila Patten, stated that there are “reasonable grounds” to confirm that Hamas terrorists committed rape and sexual abuse on 7 October.

Counterterrorism Commissioner Robin Slimcox: Palestinian protests are making central London a “no-go zone for Jews every weekend”

Central London is a “no-go zone for Jews every weekend” due to anti-Israel, pro-Palestinian demonstrations, according to UK counterterrorism commissioner Robin Simcox in a new Telegraph report.

“Inflammatory and borderline criminal rhetoric widely shared on social media. A sense that the terrorism threat is rising. Protests becoming ever more vociferous, with ‘from the river to the sea’ beamed onto the side of Big Ben during a vote on Gaza. MPs more fearful for their safety than ever”, is symptomatic of the issue, added Simcox.

He also urged authorities to target “activities of those groups who propagate extremist narratives but who lurk just below the terrorism threshold”.

Community Security Trust (CST) Chief Executive Mark Gardner said that there is a “huge element of truth” in the comments, and that he himself doesn’t “go into town when there’s these demonstrations”, reported the Jewish News.

In Cambridge today, a pro-Palestinian activist was also reportedly filmed spray-painting and slashing a historic portrait of former Prime Minister Lord Arthur Balfour, known for his prominent role in drafting the Balfour Declaration and pledging the UK’s support for a Jewish Homeland in 1917.

Ongoing IDF operations against the Hamas terror group in Gaza (IDF)

West Bank terror attacks spiral amid loss of Palestinian Authority control

The Iran-backed terror group Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), which has assisted Hamas in the 7 October massacre and subsequent Israel-Hamas War, had planned to advance “significant terror activity” in the West Bank, including shooting attacks, preparing explosive devices, and delivering funds for terrorism, according to the IDF.

The terror plans come amid weakening Palestinian Authority (PA) control of the area, with some cities reportedly falling under the influence of the Iran-backed militia.

Israeli forces killed the organiser of the planned attacks, 39-year old Muhammad Shalabi, during an overnight operation in conjunction with the Border Police, in the northern West Bank village of Silat al-Harithiya.

The IDF said an assault rifle and other military equipment was captured at Shalabi’s home.

Later on Friday, an improvised explosive device was detonated near IDF forces in the West Bank town of Silat ad-Dhahr, as they were searching for gunmen who opened fire at an IDF army post earlier on, according to Israeli media reports.

Three killed in first fatal Houthi terror attack on international cargo ships

Three crew members of the Barbados-flagged, Liberian-owned, True Confidence cargo ship were reportedly killed by a Houthi missile strike in southern Yemen – the first lethal Houthi terror attack on international cargo vessels.

“These reckless attacks by the Houthis have disrupted global trade and taken the lives of international seafarers”, stated United States Central Command.

The Iran-backed Houthi terror group said that it targeted True Confidence because it was “American”. It’s owners have denied the allegation.

Two of the sailors who died were Filipino nationals and the other was a Vietnamese national.

Finland has reportedly announced today that it will be sending seven soldiers to assist in Red Sea counterterror operations as part of the international coalition of the willing, within which the UK plays a prominent role.

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