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Cameron calls Gaza "a prison camp"

January 31, 2014 at 12:49 am

Britain’s Prime Minister has called Gaza “a prison camp” while on a visit to Turkey. David Cameron spoke about the shared vision of Turkey and the UK to see movement in the Middle East peace process and the shared hope of direct talks between Israel and Palestine before condemning May’s Israeli attack on the Freedom Flotilla.

In noting that the incident had damaged relations between Turkey and Israel, Mr. Cameron stressed that the situation in Gaza had to change. “Humanitarian goods and people must flow in both directions,” he said. “Gaza cannot and must not be allowed to remain a prison camp.”

Responding to these comments, Israeli Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said that Gaza was in the hands of Hamas, which needs to renounce violence. Israel, meanwhile, will do its utmost to alleviate humanitarian concerns, he added.

David Cameron’s concerns echo recent UK government calls for a lifting of the blockade on Gaza, rather than just an “easing”. Although he made these comments as a confirmed “friend of Israel” he highlighted the feelings present within Britain regarding recent Israeli actions. The lack of further comments from Israeli officials suggests that the government in Tel Aviv does not wish to court bad feeling with its British counterpart over this issue.