The UK continues to supply direct aid to those in need in Gaza.
Ahead of any permanent ceasefire, the UK wants to see sustained humanitarian pauses to allow a window for hostages to leave and more aid to enter Gaza.
It is imperative that aid reaches Gaza. During a visit to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories last November, the Foreign Secretary announced £30 million to support trusted partners, including UN agencies on the ground, to deliver lifesaving aid to people in Gaza. It brings to £60 million the additional aid announced by the UK for Palestinian civilians since the crisis started in October.
Work is also ongoing to increase the flow of aid into Gaza. The UK is doing everything it can to get more aid in and open more crossings, and we played a leading role in securing the passage of UN Security Council resolution 2720, which made clear the urgent demand for expanded humanitarian access and made calls for the release of hostages.
Despite the generosity of the British people, I am concerned that Hamas often exploits aid and prioritises conflict over the wellbeing of Gaza’s citizens. On 7th October, amidst Hamas’s atrocities in Israel, the terror group made a concerted effort to destroy water and electricity lines from Israel into Gaza in an apparent attempt to worsen the humanitarian conditions for its own civilian population. Israel – which provides 10% of Gaza’s water supply - has now reopened two of its three water lines providing over a million litres of water daily, although most of the electricity lines remain damaged following Hamas’ attack.
Billions of dollars of aid have been provided to Gaza since 2007, but much of this has been misappropriated for Hamas’s military activities – including thousands of rockets and military tunnels running hundreds of miles long. A number of its leaders currently living within Qatar are multi-billionaires.
Despite concerns over Hamas’ misuse of humanitarian measures, Israel has agreed to localised pauses, allowing for the entry of aid into different northern Gaza neighbourhoods each day.