July 16, 2024

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Rishi Sunak to Address the UK Parliament on the Middle East Crisis

The UK Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, is scheduled to address the UK Parliament regarding the unfolding crisis in the Middle East. This parliamentary session is significant as it coincides with a recent visit by the Prime Minister to demonstrate support for the Jewish community. Additionally, it marks the first parliamentary meeting since the four-week recess for the party conference season.

Growing concerns surround a humanitarian crisis in Gaza, with the United Nations warning of an impending fuel shortage in the territory’s hospitals by Monday. Tensions in the region are escalating, with Israel preparing for a ground invasion in northern Gaza aimed at targeting Hamas, which carried out a series of attacks on October 7, resulting in the deaths of over 1,300 people. This conflict has had repercussions for British nationals, with at least 17 reported missing or confirmed dead and Foreign Secretary James Cleverly expressing concern that up to 10 may be held hostage.

The UK government has estimated that approximately 60,000 UK nationals are in Israel or Gaza. In his statement to Parliament on Monday, Rishi Sunak will emphasise the UK’s strong condemnation of the attacks and outline the government’s response to the evolving crisis. His statement will also address the assistance provided to Israel, support efforts for affected British nationals, and the response to the humanitarian situation in Gaza.

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken has been conducting a tour of regional countries, engaging in talks with leaders in Egypt, Jordan, Qatar, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Israel. Efforts are also underway to arrange for the reopening of the Rafah crossing on the Egyptian border, the sole exit from Gaza, allowing citizens and dual nationals to leave.

Concerns persist regarding conditions in Gaza, with severe shortages of resources. Fuel reserves in Gaza’s hospitals are expected to last only another 24 hours, risking thousands of patients’ lives. The movement of people to Gaza’s south has strained resources further, with Israel having previously cut off supplies of food, water, and energy to the territory.

The situation remains fluid, with ongoing diplomatic efforts to address the crisis.