The Royal Air Force has delivered vital aid to Egypt to support civilians in Gaza, as Foreign and Defence Secretaries continue the diplomatic push. This shipment follows the 21 tonnes of essential supplies delivered last week, and a £30 million increase in UK assistance to Occupied Palestinian Territories.
This flight will be followed by several more, to deliver 30 tonnes of vital equipment such as forklift trucks, belt conveyors and lighting towers, which have been specifically requested by UK partners in the region, including the Egyptian Red Crescent.
The equipment will be set up close to the Rafah border crossing, increasing the capacity of agencies to manage and deliver significant quantities of aid to those in Gaza. Rafah is currently the only entry point for aid into Gaza.
"With an acute humanitarian crisis unfolding, today’s RAF airlift demonstrates yet again that the UK is committed to helping all suffering civilians. Our armed forces have rapidly deployed to get our partners on the ground what they urgently need and stand ready to continue supporting the humanitarian effort,” explained Defence Secretary, Grant Shapps
The UK continues to call for all parties to respect international humanitarian law, minimise civilian casualties, and for immediate access to lifesaving aid in Gaza, including food, water, medical supplies and fuel as a priority.
"The UK is determined to drive international efforts to ensure lifesaving aid reaches the people who need it most.” Said Andrew Mitchell, International Development Minister “This equipment, specifically requested by our partners on the ground, will bolster essential supplies including food and medicine to be delivered to large numbers of civilians. We continue to call for the regular delivery of humanitarian supplies into Gaza and the opening of more entry points to relieve those who are suffering."
All UK aid undergoes rigorous oversight and multiple safeguards are in place to prevent it from benefiting Hamas. Since 7th October, ministers have been engaging with countries across the Middle East and the international community to prevent the conflict from spilling over.
Middle East Minister Lord Ahmad visited Israel and the West Bank this week to discuss efforts to prevent regional escalation and the two-state solution with Israeli and Palestinian leaders.
On 20th October, the Prime Minister visited Israel, Saudi Arabia and Egypt to speak with Prime Minister Netanyahu, Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammed Bin Salman, the Amir of Qatar, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al-Thani, President of Egypt Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, and President of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas.
The Defence Secretary and Foreign Secretary have both recently travelled to the Middle East to call for humanitarian pauses to allow aid to enter Gaza and allow civilians, including British nationals, to leave.