The new British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said Thursday that the current cycle of violence was triggered by Hamas fire on Israeli civilians. He spoke at a joint press conference with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem. “Britain has been very clear about Israel’s right to defend itself,” he said but is concerned by the heavy Palestinian toll. “I came to help bring this conflict to an end. Please tell us how we can work together,” said the British foreign secretary, and commended Israel for consenting to a ceasefire.
Netanyahu said Israel was grateful to British airlines for continuing flying to Israel when others cancelled their flights. He stressed that he had ordered the IDF to continue operations in the Gaza Strip until their goals are achieved and lauded the troops' “impressive achievements.”