“The monstrous terrorist attacks committed by Hamas in recent days have proven why the UK must support Israel’s absolute right to self-defence.” – UK Defence Secretary
The United Kingdom has put words into action by sending the Royal Navy and other military assets to the eastern Mediterranean to support Israel. The decision by Rishi Sunak follows the first, if not first, visit by a country’s foreign minister to see the devastation of the Hamas terror attack first-hand.
Downing Street said maritime patrol and surveillance aircraft will begin flying in the region from Friday to track threats to regional stability, including monitoring activity such as the “transfer of weapons to terrorist groups”.
A Royal Navy task group will be moved to the eastern Mediterranean next week as a contingency measure to support humanitarian efforts.
The military package, which includes P8 aircraft, surveillance assets, two Royal Navy ships – RFA Lyme Bay and RFA Argus – three merlin helicopters and a company of Royal Marines, will be on standby to deliver practical support to Israel and partners in the region, and offer deterrence and assurance.
The Prime Minister has also asked for all military teams in Israel, Cyprus and across the region to be bolstered to support contingency planning and the efforts of neighbouring countries to deal with any spill over from instability in Israel.
The package of military support, which will work alongside allies already in the region, is a significant demonstration of the UK’s support for Israel’s right to self-defence and will allow the UK to adapt to the needs of partners as the situation evolves over the coming weeks.
Rishi Sunak said, “We must be unequivocal in making sure the types of horrific scenes we have seen this week will not be repeated. Alongside our allies, the deployment of our world class military will support efforts to ensure regional stability and prevent further escalation.
“Our military and diplomatic teams across the region will also support international partners to re-establish security and ensure humanitarian aid reaches the thousands of innocent victims of this barbaric attack from Hamas terrorists.”
The Foreign Secretary visited Israel on Wednesday to see first-hand the destruction Hamas terrorists have caused and to understand how the UK can support the efforts of the Israeli Government to ensure the safety and security of the Israeli people.
Defence Secretary Grant Shapps said, “The monstrous terrorist attacks committed by Hamas in recent days have proven why the UK must support Israel’s absolute right to self-defence and deter malign external interference. No nation should stand alone in the face of such evil and today’s deployment will ensure Israel does not.
“The Royal Navy Task Group, RAF operations and our wider military support will be an undeniable display of the UK’s resolve to ensure Hamas’s terrorist campaign fails, whilst reminding those who seek to inflame tensions that the forces of freedom stand with the Israeli people.”
Meanwhile, the Foreign Secretary announced today that the UK will facilitate commercial flights to help vulnerable British nationals wanting to leave Israel.
This year, we want to do more to bless Israel and the Jewish people.
We know that as we bless Israel this year, God will bless us, just as He promised in Genesis 12:3, “I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” Now is the time to bless Israel and the Jewish people.