SPECIAL BRIEFING DAY 182: Prime Minister Rishi Sunak: The UK supports Israel’s “right to defend itself against attacks from Hamas”

By April 05 2024, 08:16 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.

Recent CFI statement on X

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak: The UK supports Israel’s “right to defend itself against attacks from Hamas”

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak told The Sun that the UK continues to support Israel’s “right to defend itself and its people against attacks from Hamas”, on Tuesday.

Urging Jerusalem to conduct a “thorough [and] transparent” inquiry into the strike that killed seven international aid workers including three “brave Brits” John Chapman, 57, James Henderson, 33, and James Kirby, 47, Sunak said he has been “consistently clear” on his positions.

The Prime Minister has previously rejected “any attempt to draw an equivalence between Israel’s actions and those of the terrorists who videotape their appalling crimes, who rape and murder with gratuitous zealotry”, as he said at CFI’s Annual Business Lunch in January.

Since October, Sunak has pledged Israel his “unqualified support in the face of evil” and has said that he will “always stand” with the Jewish State.

Conservative MPs reject calls for Israel arms embargo

Conservative MPs have this week spoken out against calls for the UK to impose an arms embargo on Israel.

CFI Parliamentary Chair (Commons) Rt. Hon. Stephen Crabb MP told PoliticsHome that the UK was “absolutely right” to continue its support for Israel, and that an arms embargo on Israel is misguided.

“Such an embargo would simply embolden Hamas and its Iranian paymasters thereby prolonging the conflict”, Crabb said, “while also harming the well-being of thousands of British armed forces personnel who use Israeli-made equipment every day”.

CFI Parliamentary Vice Chair Rt. Hon. Theresa Villiers MP highlighted that, “we should not punish Israel because Hamas embeds itself amongst civilians. It is Hamas who are to blame for the loss of life in Gaza”.

She said that it is a “tragedy whenever civilians die in war”, but Israel was making “huge efforts to try to minimise this”.

CFI Parliamentary Vice Chair Andrew Percy MP said “it would be an act of immense stupidity and self-harm to seek to limit Israel’s ability to fight this hate, especially when we know that no similar conversation is taking place in Tehran who will continue to arm, fund and support Hamas and their other murderous anti-western proxies”.

Percy continued, “the Iranian leadership and their Islamist terror proxies must not believe their luck” that elected representatives of Western nations “assist them by hindering Israel’s right to defend itself and destroy the terror network that raped, butchered and murdered their way across civilian communities on October 7th”.

Former Attorney General Rt. Hon. Sir Michael Ellis KC MP stated that an arms embargo would be “self-defeating”, both “strengthening Hamas and thus dashing hopes for lasting peace”, and impacting the UK’s armed forces which “rely greatly on Israeli-made defence equipment”.
Sir Michael added that Israel is “fighting a genocidal terror group in the most complex circumstances”.

“We should continue to support Israel in exercising its right to defend itself from a truly horrific terrorist attack”, Vice Chair of CFI Rt. Hon. Theresa Villiers MP said to BBC Radio 4 on Thursday, adding that “it is legitimate to continue to supply them with arms exports”.

Israel is “absolutely not” in breach of international law, said former Home Secretary Rt. Hon. Suella Braverman KC MP, calling the very suggestion was “absurd”. Seperately, Braverman told the BBC that “we owe it to Israel to stand with them. I think that we should maintain this military relationship from which we benefit just as much as they do”.

Former Cabinet Minister Rt. Hon. Robert Jenrick MP tweeted that “demanding a ceasefire and ending arms exports to Israel only encourages Hamas to fight on and not release hostages”, emphasising that “British arms sales account for just 0.02% of imports to Israel. Pausing arms exports will have no effect on the course of the war”. He added that those calling for an unconditional ceasefire “simply display naïveté”.

“We supply 0.02% of Israel’s arms imports, which is a meaninglessly small figure. and actually by blocking it, effectively this is shallow gesture politics, and nothing but”, Bob Seeley MP said on BBC Newsnight on Thursday. “We get a lot of intelligence out of Israel and Mossad… and it helps to keep Britain secure and it helps us to understand an increasingly dangerous world”, Seely said.

“UK has long benefited from the Israeli military’s technology. Every day it protects the lives of many British soldiers… Drone tech such as the Watchkeeper WK45 has also been used by [the UK] in Afghanistan for intelligence collection, and the Sky Sabre missile defence system now protects the Falklands”, tweeted Brendan Clarke-Smith MP, adding that the Government has “resolutely rejected” calls for an embargo.

Conservative Peers: “Israel continues to deserve our support in this awful war”

“Hamas is responsible” for the deaths in Gaza, CFI Honorary President Lord Polak CBE and eight other Conservative Peers said in a letter in The Times on Friday Morning.

“There is a crucial military, political and moral distinction between the state of Israel — which regrets civilian deaths and recognises the need to minimise them — and its enemy, which seeks only to kill Jews and has no other goal. Israel continues to deserve our support in this awful war”, the letter said.

“The war will end as soon as [Hamas] lays down its arms and releases the 100 or so Israeli hostages it is holding”, the Conservative Peers stated. Israel is “entitled, and right, to do what it can to neutralise the capacity of Hamas for more such attacks”.

“A ceasefire would leave Hamas in being, able to reconstitute itself, and with no incentive to release hostages”, the Rt. Hon. Lord Frost CMG wrote in The Telegraph.

“Israel’s enemies, notably Iran, would draw the conclusion that, in a crisis, Israel would be allowed to hit back, but would always be stopped by the West from fighting to a finish”, in the event of a ceasefire, Lord Frost stated.

“Israel must not just be allowed, but enabled, to win this war”, Lord Frost said, adding that “it’s in our own national interest that it does so”.

Crime and Policing Minister Chris Philp reports Palestine Action over its incitement of criminal offences

Palestine Action has been reported to the authorities over a manual they produced which incites activists to “smash up businesses with sledgehammers”.

Crime and Policing Minister Chris Philp told The Telegraph, “Palestine Action are no more than thugs who resort to violence instead of using reasoned arguments and the ballot box. Inciting people to commit criminal damage and smash up businesses with sledgehammers has no place in a democracy”.

Philp continued, “I want to see anyone committing criminal damage arrested and prosecuted. And I will be reporting this appalling Palestine Action material to the police myself”.

“There is a difference between protest and criminal activism, and we are committed to responding quickly and robustly to activists who deliberately disrupt people’s lives with reckless and criminal acts”, a spokesman for the National Police Chiefs’ Council said.

The manual gives advice on “breaking into your target and damaging the contents inside”. Further advice is given on how to avoid detention: “It may be impossible to avoid doing your action whilst avoiding CCTV, that’s why it is crucial to make sure you are unidentifiable”. It offers considerations on how to avoid police.

In March, the group smashed the glass entrance and sprayed red paint over the front of the London headquarters of a bank it said had investment ties to Israel, and was due to hold a “direct action training day” in Birmingham.

A member of the group was also videoed slashing and spray-painting a portrait of Lord Balfour, a former Prime Minister, at the University of Cambridge.

Jewish students at the University of Glasgow subject to “segregation” as Hamas-sympathiser elected as rector

Antisemitism faced by Jewish students at Glasgow University has reportedly peaked in recent weeks, with the election of a rector that has allegedly shown public support for proscribed terror groups, as revealed by the JC.

Accusations outline that the new rector’s manifesto stated that he would call for the replacement of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) definition of antisemitism.

Jewish students at the university have expressed their concerns after being told by the university to use alternative representatives and officials to represent their interests.

Former Attorney General Rt. Hon. Sir Michael Ellis KC MP stated, “it is impossible to imagine any other ethnic or religious group being separated off from fellow students in this way. How can it possibly be defended?”, raising that it is “tantamount to segregation”.

“The explosion of anti-Jewish racism at university campuses across the UK since Hamas’s October 7 pogrom should have acted as a wake up call to society”, Sir Michael added.

IDF investigation on aid convoy strike: “The incident should not have occurred”

“The incident should not have occurred”, the IDF concluded from its Fact-Finding and Assessment Mechanism (FFAM) into the strike that killed seven international aid workers, including three UK citizens John Chapman, 57, James Henderson, 33, and James Kirby, 47.

“The IDF will learn the lessons of the incident and will incorporate them”, Israel’s military pledged, adding that “those who approved the strike were convinced that they were targeting armed Hamas operatives and not WCK employees. The strike on the aid vehicles is a grave mistake”. Hamas gunmen were reportedly seen firing from the roof of one of the lorries being accompanied by WCK.

Two officers with the ranks of major and colonel in reserve will be dismissed from their positions, and other senior commanders will be formally reprimanded. The IDF expressed their “deep sorrow” over the incident and the “utmost importance” of continuing humanitarian aid operations.

“The forces did not identify the vehicles in question as being associated with WCK”, added the findings, with Israel’s military drones unable to see the WCK logos at night.

“Based on the radio communication, we assessed the state of mind of the IDF Forces that conducted the strike that they were striking cars that had been seized by Hamas”, said IDF Maj. General Har-Even.

Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) have used civilian vehicles, including trucks resembling the aid vehicle that was struck and ambulances, in their military activities. Those directing the strike reportedly believed a gunman was operating from the vehicle. “Misclassification”, “miscommunication” and “negligence” resulted in the incident, the IDF said.

Israel takes steps to improve the humanitarian situation in Gaza

Israel’s Security Cabinet has taken steps to improve the humanitarian situation in Gaza, following the strike on the World Central Kitchen convoy, the Prime Minister’s Office announced early Friday.

“The increased aid will prevent a humanitarian crisis and is critical for ensuring the continuation of the fighting and achieving the war aims”, the Prime Minister’s Office said.

Israel will open Erez Crossing in the northern Gaza Strip for the first time since many Israelis were killed and abducted there, and it was significantly damaged during the Hamas-led 7 October terror onslaught that sparked the ongoing war.

Israel will also temporarily open up Ashdod Port for humanitarian deliveries and will increase the amount of aid from Jordan moving through the Kerem Shalom crossing.

Just yesterday, Israel facilitated the delivery of 388,850 tonnes of humanitarian aid and 20,745 trucks into the Gaza Strip.

TRIGGER WARNING: Eyewitness accounts from 7 October detail rape, genital mutilation, and torture.

“I was really scared that they’re going to rape me there and they’re going drag me through Gaza’s streets and parade my body around, so I feared that more than being killed”, freed hostage Amit Soussana testified.

Yarden Gonen, sister of hostage Romi Gonen, and Shai Dickman, cousin of hostage Carmel Gat, also witnessed horrors of rape, genital mutilation, and torture that occurred on 7 October.

Ms Soussana has shared her account with Kastina Communications, the producers of ‘Screams Before Silence’, an upcoming documentary sharing the sexual violence perpetrated by Hamas and captors.

Every Israeli woman who is being held hostage by Hamas in Gaza is being sexually abused, freed hostage Mia Regev said during an emergency debate in the Knesset’s Committee on the Status of Women and Gender Equality on Tuesday.

“Please do not forget the men. You must reach a deal for everyone, even if in stages”, released hostage, Sharon Cunio, said while sobbing. Her husband and brother-in-law are still held hostage in Gaza.

Palestinian Authority (PA) accuses Iran of trying to spread chaos in West Bank

Fatah, the party in charge of the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank, reportedly stated that it would not allow “our sacred cause and the blood of our people to be exploited” by Iran.

“This external interference, particularly by Iran, has no other objective than to sow chaos in the Palestinian internal arena”, the statement said, adding that it would act against any outside interferences that aimed to harm security forces or national institutions.

The Israeli military said security forces had stopped Iran-backed terror groups advancing the smuggling of weapons including anti-tank mines into the West Bank.

Ali Akbar Velayati, senior adviser to Iran’s Supreme Leader Alo Khamanei, wrote a letter to Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad on 8 October, “congratulating this great and strategic victory” of the 7 October Massacre.

Hamas will not back down from hostage deal demands

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh demanded a “complete withdrawal of the enemy out of the Gaza Strip” in exchange for the release of hostages, in a speech on Wednesday.

Hamas is also seeking to release Palestinian security prisoners from Israeli jails, who are being detained for terrorism offences.

Russia’s Defence Ministry has deployed additional forces in Syria’s Golan Heights

Forces from Russia’s military police have been deployed in the Syrian-controlled areas of the Golan Heights, the Russia’s Defence Ministry announced on Wednesday.

According to the Kremlin, the Russian observation posts are set up above Syrian military posts located below, to monitor “possible provocations”.

Just before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, its Deputy Ambassador to the UN told its Security Council that “Russia doesn’t recognise Israel’s sovereignty over Golan Heights”.

IDF Chief of Staff Herzi Halevi gives a video statement on 3 April 2024 (IDF)

Shin Bet security agency stopped plans to assassinate National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir

Shin Bet – Israel’s equivalent to MI6 – arrested a cell of Arab Israelis and West Bank Palestinians who planned to carry out terror attacks in Israel and the West Bank, including assassinating National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir, the agency said on Thursday.

The cell also planned attacks against IDF bases and other sensitive sites, including Ben Gurion Airport and the government complex in Jerusalem. The cell also sought to kidnap IDF soldiers, the Shin Bet said.

Seven Arab Israelis and four West Bank Palestinians connected to Hamas officials in Gaza were arrested in connection with the plot, the agency said. Hamas offered the terrorists funding and instructions.

Additionally, IDF troops came under fire as a gunman crossed into the Jordan border crossing and opened fire at the troops overnight on Thursday.

The IDF troops were in an army vehicle at the Jordan River Crossing near the northern town of Beit Shean, when the gunman opened fire at the troops carrying out a routine patrol in the area.

He then fled back to Jordan, the IDF said. The IDF said the gunman did not infiltrate through Israel’s border fence, and there were no injuries in the attack.

Terrorist attacks planned by ISIS supporters thwarted by Jerusalem District Police and Shin Bet

Two ISIS terrorists in the West Bank reportedly planned to “target Christian and Jewish people”, detonate explosive devices and conduct shooting attacks towards a police station in East Jerusalem, as well as another attack in the vicinity of Jerusalem’s Teddy Stadium, the Police reported on Thursday.

ISIS spokesperson Abu Hudhayfah al-Ansari had reached out to “lone wolves” on Telegraph, urging them to attack adherents of the other major Abrahamic faiths, “especially in the US, Europe, and Israel during the holy month of Ramadan”, it was reported last week.

Lidor Levy, 34, victim of the Gan Yavne stabbing attack on Sunday died on Thursday as a result of a stabbing attack by a 19-year-old Palestinian terrorist at the Gan Yavne mall on Sunday, as well as two other Israelis who were left seriously wounded.

Israeli officers also raided the West Bank city of Tulkarem on Friday morning to detain three wanted Palestinians suspected of involvement in terror activities, the police said.

After the wanted men were detained and the Border Force officers left the city, a violent riot erupted, in which Palestinian terrorist, Sa’ed Abu Alawiya, was killed for throwing an explosive device at the officers.

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