Britain’s new PM pushes Netanyahu on Gaza ceasefire, calls Palestinian statehood ‘undeniable right’

Keir Starmer, Britain’s new Prime Minister from the Labour Party, pledges support for Palestinian statehood as an ‘undeniable right,’ pressures Israel to end Gaza war.

By David Rosenberg, World Israel News

The new prime minister of Britain, Keir Starmer, spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas over the weekend, two days after he took office, replacing the Conservative Rishi Sunak as head of government for the U.K.

On Sunday, Starmer received calls from Netanyahu and Abbas, congratulating him on the Labour Party’s victory in last Thursday’s general election and on his appointment as premier.

During his conversation with the Israeli leader, Starmer emphasized the importance of continuing “vital cooperation” between Britain and Israel, while also expressing the new British government’s belief in the “clear and urgent need for a ceasefire” between Israel and the Hamas terror organization,” The Financial Times reported.

Starmer also urged Israel to drop the economic sanctions it has imposed on the Palestinian Authority, calling for the Jewish state to ensure the P.A. has the “financial means to operate effectively.”

Regarding the ongoing fighting on between Hezbollah and Israel on the Lebanese-Israeli border, Starmer reports of possible escalations were “very concerning.”

In a call with Mahmoud Abbas, Starmer lamented the “ongoing suffering” and “devastating loss of life” in the Gaza Strip, while declaring his government affirmed the “undeniable right of Palestinians” to an independent state.

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Starmer vowed that his government would pursue policies “ensuring international legitimacy for Palestine” and declaring that his “long-standing policy on recognition to contribute to a peace process had not changed.”

The new British premier fell short, however, of pledging to join other European powers in recognizing unilateral Palestinian statehood.

A day earlier, British Foreign Minister David Lammy said the new government would seek a “balanced position” on Israel and Hamas,” while calling for a ceasefire agreement.

“I want to get back to a balanced position on Israel and Gaza. We’ve been very clear that we want to see a ceasefire … We want to see those hostages out.”