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UK says it currently doesn't support cease-fire in Gaza

The UK on Wednesday said it presently does not support a cease-fire in Gaza, where Israel has continued relentless bombardment for 19 days and is preparing for a ground invasion. 

Asked whether the UK would appeal for a cease-fire, the prime minister's official spokesperson reiterated the country's support to Israel. "Presently, a ceasefire would serve only Hamas," the spokesperson said, adding that the UK and the US agree on this line of argument.

Our stance wouldn't change but we stressed, from the beginning, that the British citizens should leave Gaza, hostages should be released and the entry of the humanitarian aid to Gaza should allowed, the spokesperson said.

Asked by Anadolu on the UK's stance on the source of the missile that hit the Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital in Gaza, the spokesperson said their assessment on the matter remains the same.

"As the prime minister confirmed on Monday, our intelligence agencies assess it was likely that the hospital exposure was caused by a missile firing from within Gaza towards Israel, and it is standard practice that we don’t publish the detail of our intelligence assessments, but they're drawn from a range of sources from highly sensitive to open source material. We've also worked with our international partners to share intelligence between us both our assessment and our approach to publish intelligence is in line with that of our allies."

On remarks by UN General Secretary Antonio Guterres that the Oct. 7 Hamas attack "did not happen in a vacuum" and there were "clear violations of international humanitarian law" in Gaza, the spokesperson said: "We don't agree with the secretary general's characterization, but we're very clear there can be no justification Hamas's barbaric attach which is driven by hatred and ideology."

The conflict in Gaza began when the Palestinian group Hamas initiated Operation Al-Aqsa Flood -- a multi-pronged surprise attack that included a barrage of rocket launches and infiltrations into Israel by land, sea and air.

Hamas said the incursion was in retaliation for the storming of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and growing violence by Israeli settlers against Palestinians.

The Israeli military then launched a relentless bombardment of Hamas targets in the Gaza Strip.

More than 7,900 people have been killed in the conflict, including at least 6,546 Palestinians and 1,400 Israelis.

Gaza’s 2.3 million residents have been running out of food, water, medicine and fuel, and aid convoys allowed into Gaza have carried only a fraction of what is needed.

Guterres, who said he was "shocked by the misinterpretations" of his remarks at the Security Council, reiterated his appeal for an immediate humanitarian cease-fire to "ease suffering, make the delivery of aid easier & safer, and facilitate the release of hostages."

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