Lord David Cameron has called for “humanitarian pauses” in Gaza with the UK “committed to preventing wider regional instability”.
The new Foreign Secretary said on Saturday he had spoken to the Israeli foreign minister to discuss the conflict but avoided saying he had called for a ceasefire.
Posting on X, formerly Twitter, he wrote: “I spoke to Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen yesterday and shared my condolences for the Israeli civilians killed in Hamas’ brutal October 7th terror attack.
“We discussed the situation in Gaza and the need for humanitarian pauses. We are committed to preventing wider regional instability.”
His comments echo those of the prime minister last month who said he supported “specific pauses” to allow aid into Gaza.
Rishi Sunak pledged to double emergency aid to Gaza but rejected calls for a ceasefire.
The United Nations general secretary António Guterres this week again called for “an immediate humanitarian cease fire” saying he was “deeply disturbed by the horrible situation and dramatic loss of life in several hospitals in Gaza”.
“In the name of humanity, I call for an immediate humanitarian cease fire,” he wrote on X.
Lord Cameron, the former prime minister who returned to frontline politics this week, grappled with the conflict in Gaza after he visited Ukraine on Thursday – using his first overseas visit to go to Kyiv.
He assured president Volodymyr Zelensky that Britain would support Ukraine for “however long it takes”.
In Gaza on Saturday, patients and staff fled the largest hospital, with one describing a panicked and chaotic evacuation as Israeli forces searched and face-scanned men among the evacuees and took some away.
Israel’s military has been searching Shifa Hospital for traces of a Hamas command centre that it alleges was located under the building – a claim Hamas and the hospital staff deny.
The evacuation left behind only Israeli forces and a skeleton crew to care for those too sick to move.
The war, now in its seventh week, was triggered by Hamas’s October 7 attack in southern Israel, in which militants killed about 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and abducted some 240 men, women and children.
Fifty-two soldiers have been killed since the Israeli offensive began.
More than 11,500 Palestinians have been killed in the war, according to Palestinian health authorities.
Another 2,700 have been reported missing, believed buried under rubble. The count does not differentiate between civilians and combatants, but more than two-thirds of those killed were women and children. Israel says it has killed thousands of militants.