Pressure mounting on Israel after ‘too many’ civilian deaths

The chorus of voices calling for Israel to reduce the number of civilian casualties in Gaza is building.

Government sources might argue that an article penned by David Cameron, calling for a sustainable ceasefire, says nothing that has not already been said before by Rishi Sunak.

But in his joint comments with the German foreign minister, Lord Cameron unequivocally condemned the number of innocent Palestinians killed in the conflict.

This was not simply a plea for proportionality, but a statement that “too many” people had died. And it marked a shift in tone that is mirrored in the rest of the international community.

US President Joe Biden has spoken about concerns that Israel is alienating itself on the world stage. The UN held a vote calling for a ceasefire. And Germany and France have joined the UK in stressing the need for an end to fighting and a peace process.

Without co-operation from Hamas and Israeli leader Benjamin Netanyahu, foreign leaders are focusing their attention on encouraging the latter to launch more targeted attacks that will hit fighters and reclaim hostages without the devastating levels of destruction seen over recent weeks.

The US defence secretary is due to travel out there to discuss scaling back the offensive, and will be followed shortly by the UK Foreign Secretary.

Lord Cameron – only in the job since last month – has already visited the region, but he travels this time with a stronger message to deliver from the UK Government.

The West has been unmovable in its support for Israel in the wake of the 7 October Hamas attacks, but the collective message is shifting and the focus has moved on to when, and how, this conflict will end.