David Cameron speaking on Sky News this morning (Video Clip)

In a dramatic turn of events, Britain’s Foreign Secretary, David Cameron, emphatically declared on Sunday that any cessation of British arms sales to Israel, especially if Israel proceeds with a ground assault on Rafah in the Gaza Strip, would significantly empower Hamas. This stark assertion came as Israel directed more Palestinians in the southern city to evacuate, signaling a relentless push towards a ground offensive despite President Joe Biden's stern warning of potentially withholding specific weapons supplies.

Cameron expressed staunch opposition to the Rafah operation in the absence of a definitive strategy to shield the numerous civilians seeking refuge in this fraught southern border city. Yet, he highlighted Britain's distinctly different stance from that of the United States regarding arms provision to Israel. He pointed out that the minimal fraction of Israeli weapons originating from Britain is rigorously governed by an exacting licensing framework.

In a pointed remark to the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg, Cameron remarked, "We could, hypothetically, opt to transmit a political message, deciding on that political gesture." He referenced a recent grave scenario where, following similar pressures, a fierce assault was launched by Iran against Israel, involving a staggering 140 cruise missiles. According to Cameron, such past events underscore the imprudence of rashly altering Britain's arms export policies without thorough deliberation.

Cameron proposed that a more effective solution would be for Hamas to agree to a hostage negotiation. He argued, "To abruptly declare today that we will overhaul our entire arms export approach, bypassing our meticulous procedures, would not only fortify Hamas but also undermine the likelihood of securing a hostage agreement."

This announcement follows a harrowing attack by Hamas on southern Israel on October 7, which resulted in approximately 1,200 fatalities and the taking of over 250 hostages, as per Israeli records. Meanwhile, the Israeli military’s retaliatory actions in Gaza have purportedly resulted in nearly 35,000 Palestinian casualties, a figure reported by Gaza’s health ministry but deemed unreliable by the United Nations. Last week, the UN significantly revised downward the previously stated numbers of women and children casualties.

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