Calls for a ceasefire are understandable, but the difficult reality is that Hamas has no interest in one and has even recently rejected one.
Each time, Hamas has exploited ceasefires to rearm and expand its terror network within Gaza’s civilian population, leading to greater bloodshed and suffering for both Palestinians and Israelis. The UK Government is rightly concerned that a ceasefire now would allow Hamas to once again regroup and the violent cycle will continue.
It is worth noting that those calling for a ceasefire are essentially asking Israel to stop fighting a genocidal terror group committed to the destruction of Israel, and the Jewish people, in accordance with its founding charter.
It is also worth remembering that Israel did not start this war. Israel did not even expect this war. It was Hamas’s decision to violently break the ceasefire - which existed before 7th October - when it launched its surprise attack. The world was shocked by Hamas committing the worst massacre against Jews since the Holocaust.
Hamas does not seek a ceasefire and Israel cannot reasonably be expected to pursue one with a group that actively seeks its destruction.
I welcome calls for de-escalation, but the only way to head down this path is for Hamas to unconditionally release all remaining hostages and renounce terrorism.