David Cameron to visit Israel after Rishi Sunak call for 'calm heads' (2024)

The Foreign Secretary is set to visit Israel today just hours after Rishi Sunak warned the country's Prime Minister that 'calm heads must prevail' in the wake of Iran's unprecedented missile and drone barrage over the weekend.

Lord Cameron is expected to meet with Benjamin Netanyahu and foreign ministerIsrael Katz,the Times of Israel reports, as well as war cabinet minister Benny Gantz, though this is said to have not yet been finalised.

He has previously urged Tel Aviv to be 'smart as well as tough' by not escalating the conflict with Iran, while Prime Minister Rishi Sunak yesterday pledged his support for Israel, but said that an escalation in the Middle East was in nobody's interest.

Downing Street said the PM spoke to his counterpart on Tuesday some 24 hours after Sunak had told MPs it would be held 'shortly', with the UK government saying that Netanyahu 'has been very busy with war cabinet and engagements'.

Both Britain and Israel were forced to deny reports that Netanyahu was refusing to take Sunak's call and Downing Street insisted that the UK was not being 'taken for granted' by Israel, days after RAF jets helped to thwart Iran's attack.

David Cameron during his first trip to Israel as Foreign Secretary back in November. He is pictured visitingkibbutz Be'eri, which was targeted in the October 7 attacks, with then-Foreign Minister Eli Cohen

Lord Cameron is expected to meet with Benjamin Netanyahu after Rishi Sunak told Israel's prime minister that 'calm heads must prevail'

File image showsIsrael's Iron Dome missile defense system fires interceptors at rockets launched from the Gaza Strip, in Ashkelon, southern Israel

Sunak's official spokesman said of Netanyahu: 'He has obviously been in discussions with his war cabinet. The Foreign Secretaryand Defence Secretary have been speaking to their counterparts.'

As well as meetings with Israeli officials on Wednesday, Lord Cameron is expected tovisit senior Palestinian Authority officials in the West Bank city of Ramallah, it has been reported.

It comes after the UK government last night condemned the killing of Israeli teenager Binyamin Achimair and is alarmed by the 'shocking levels of violence' in the occupied West Bank after his death.

'These killings, and subsequent actions, are escalating violence in the Occupied West Bank and the wider region at a critical time,'the statement said.

'It is vital that Israeli authorities restore calm and conduct urgent and transparent investigations into all deaths.'

During his one-day visit to the region, Lord Cameron is expected to push for Israeli promises to allow more humanitarian aid into Gaza to be seen through.

He will also stress the need for deconfliction for humanitarian workers, following the deaths of British aid operatives in the Strip, TOI reports, citing a British official.

The situation with Iran will likely dominate discussions, with Israel's Foreign Minister saying that he was 'leading a diplomatic attack' in writing to 32 countries to ask them to place sanctions on Iran's missile programme and follow Washington in proscribing its Revolutionary Guard Corps a terrorist group.

The US announced it will impose new sanctions on Iranin the coming days which will target its missile and drone program as well as new measures against entities supporting the IRGC and Iran's Defense Ministry.

The statement from National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan promised a unified response, saying: 'We anticipate that our allies and partners will soon be following with their own sanctions.'

During his phone conversation with Netanyahu yesterday, Sunak 'reiterated the UK's steadfast support for Israel's security' and wider regional stability.

Rishi Sunak told Israel's Prime Minister that 'Iran had badly miscalculated' with its assault

The Israeli PM 'thanked the UK for its rapid and robust support in the face of Iran's reckless and dangerous attack'.

Sunak also told him that 'Iran had badly miscalculated' with its assault, adding that the Islamic Republic is 'increasingly isolated on the global stage', No10 said.

He additionally said that the G7 is working on a package of measures against Iran. Italy, which has the presidency of the group, suggested any new sanctions would target individuals, as opposed to the far-reaching measures Israel has pushed for.

Sunak also used the call to put pressure on Israel to ease the humanitarian crisis in Gaza, where around half the population are believed to be starving.

'The PM said the UK wants to see a massive step change in aid access to Gaza, including Israel opening up new aid routes,' according to No10's statement.

It comes afterWhite House national security spokesman John Kirby declined on Monday to say whether Biden had urged Netanyahu in talks on Saturday night to exercise restraint in responding to Iran.

Netanyahu 'thanked the UK for its rapid and robust support in the face of Iran's reckless and dangerous attack,' Downing Street said

'We don't want to see a war with Iran. We don't want to see a regional conflict,' Kirby told a briefing.

Meanwhile, Western allies have been eyeing swift new sanctions against Tehran to help dissuade Israel from a major escalation.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the US would use sanctions, and work with allies, to keep disrupting Iran's 'malign and destabilising activity'.

She told a news conference in Washington that all options to disrupt Iran's 'terrorist financing' were on the table, and that she expected further sanctions against Iran to be announced in coming days.

European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, speaking in Brussels after an emergency video conference of EU foreign ministers, said some member states had asked for sanctions against Iran to be expanded and that the bloc's diplomatic service would begin working on the proposal.

Borrell said the proposal would expand a sanctions regime that seeks to curb the supply of Iranian drones to Russia so that it would also include the provision of missiles and could also cover deliveries to Iranian proxies in the Middle East.

Iran has threatened to use 'weapons it has never used' in a 'painful and severe' response if Israel launches airstrikes in retaliation to Tehran's weekend salvo. In this picture released by the Iranian Defense Ministry on Thursday, May 25, 2023, Khorramshahr-4 missile is launched at an undisclosed location in Iran

German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said earlier on Tuesday that several EU members had promised to look again at extending sanctions, adding she would head to Israel within hours to discuss how to prevent an escalation.

In a call between the Chinese and Iranian foreign ministers, China said it believed Iran could 'handle the situation well and spare the region further turmoil' while safeguarding its sovereignty and dignity, according to Chinese state media.

Iran's weekend attack caused modest damage in Israel and wounded a 7-year-old girl. Most missiles and drones were shot down by Israel's Iron Dome defence system and with help from the U.S., Britain, France and Jordan.

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi (pictured in February) warned Israel it will face a 'painful response' if it takes the 'slightest action' in response to his country's attack

Iranian Parliament's National Security Committee Abolfazl Amoue stated that Iran is 'prepared to use a weapon that we have never used' if Israel responds further.

Speaking on Monday, he said Israel should consider its next steps and 'act wisely.'

Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi also warned Israel it will face a 'painful response' if it takes the 'slightest action' in response to his country's attack.

It has threatened to use 'weapons it has never used' in a 'painful and severe' response if Israel launches airstrikes in retaliation to Tehran's weekend salvo.

An Iranian missile launch is seen in this footage, claimed to be the first missile launched towards Israel in Tehran's attack over the weekend

Israel today threatened airstrikes on Iran in retaliation for a 350-missile blitz amid fears the conflict will spiral into all-out war in the Middle East. Pictured: Rocket trails are seen in the sky above Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem as Iranian missiles are intercepted by air defences

IAEADirector General Rafael Grossi said Iran closed its nuclear facilities temporarily over 'security considerations' and that while they reopened on Monday, he kept IAEA inspectors away 'until we see that the situation is completely calm.'

When asked about the possibility of an Israel strike on Iranian nuclear facilities, Grossi said: 'We are always concerned about this possibility.'

He urged 'extreme restraint.'

Speaking to MailOnline on Monday before Iran's latest threat,Justin Crump - British army veteran and CEO of global risk analysis firm Sibylline, pointed to the nuclear threat posed by Iran when discussing Israel's possible responses.

Iranian missiles exhibited in a park on January 20, 2024 in Tehran

A shell from Israeli artillery explodes over Dahaira, a Lebanese border village with Israel, south Lebanon, Monday, October 16, 2023

'At the back of everyone's minds, though, is the nuclear issue,' he said.

'Iran has shown it can and will strike at Israel and those who have always held concerns about a nuclear capability will be speaking loudly in the coming days.'

In addition to its possible nuclear weapons programme, Iran has a vast array of missiles and other weapons in its arsenal that it could use to strike Israel.

A third meeting of Israel's war cabinet set for Tuesday to decide on a response to Iran's first-ever direct attack was put off until Wednesday.

David Cameron to visit Israel after Rishi Sunak call for 'calm heads' (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Carmelo Roob

Last Updated:

Views: 5959

Rating: 4.4 / 5 (45 voted)

Reviews: 92% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Carmelo Roob

Birthday: 1995-01-09

Address: Apt. 915 481 Sipes Cliff, New Gonzalobury, CO 80176

Phone: +6773780339780

Job: Sales Executive

Hobby: Gaming, Jogging, Rugby, Video gaming, Handball, Ice skating, Web surfing

Introduction: My name is Carmelo Roob, I am a modern, handsome, delightful, comfortable, attractive, vast, good person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.