President Herzog: « We are at war. We are at war against one of the worst terrorist organisations in history that must be eradicated. And I always say, if it wasn’t for Israel, then Europe would be next. I think that’s the main challenge that the world is facing. «
Ahead of their meeting, President Herzog said: “Thank you Foreign Secretary for being with us in the first few days of assuming your new position. We welcome you wholeheartedly.
“You are a great friend of Israel for many years. I still vividly recall your incredible speech in the Knesset, when you were prime minister, and now you’ve come here when we are in a major crisis, a major challenge, dark days of agony, pain, sorrow, atrocities that emanate constantly 24/7.
“It never ends and I am thinking how many books and literature will come out about October 7th, because we are only now unraveling and deciphering so many facts about that horrific, atrocious, barbaric and sadistic attack on the people of Israel, and how much bloodshed and sorrow we are seeing.”
He added, “At these very critical moments, we are waiting to hear the whereabouts of women and children that were abducted and taken hostage by Hamas.
“We are waiting to see some of them return in the first phase of what is seen as a possible deal between Israel and Qatar, the United States and Hamas. So that some of the humanitarian dilemmas that we are faced with when it comes to our hostages, at least will be resolved when we see a three-year-old child walking alone because she has no parents back home. But the story is not over.
“We are at war. We are at war against one of the worst terrorist organisations in history, a war machine that was built underneath and above, using all civilian resources, a terrible war machine with a Jihadist, Islamic, ISIS type ideology that must be eradicated.
“And I always say if it wasn’t for Israel, then Europe would be next. I think that’s the main challenge of what the world is facing. And finally, there is the humanitarian supply and the humanitarian situation in Gaza, which we are very much aware of, which we are taking major steps in order to alleviate, to increase the support and the assistance that goes to the citizens of Gaza.
“Rest assured that we are committed to whatever is necessary, according to the basic rules of international humanitarian law.”
Foreign Secretary Cameron thanked the President and said: “Thank you very much, Mr. President, for your welcome and thank you for your relationship which I very much value.”
He continued, “It’s very good to be back in your country. I wanted to come, and I wanted to go to the south of the country to see for myself some of the horrific acts that were carried out by Hamas by these terrorists when they came into your country.
“I went to Kibbutz Be’eri and I won’t forget what I saw. It makes a very deep impression, and it’s important that people know that.
“As you said, there’s a huge amount of trauma in Israel because of the taking of 244 hostages. I’m not sure anyone can fully understand and share that trauma, but I remember the worst days of being Prime Minister was when British hostages were taken in Syria, and so many of them lost their lives in the most gruesome, terrible fashion.
“I remember the effect that had on me and Prime Minister and thinking about that and so perhaps know a tiny bit of what your nation is going through.”
He stressed, “You have our support. We stand with the people of Israel at this difficult time.
“Today is obviously a day where we hope for this humanitarian pause. I hope that all those that are responsible for negotiating can carry it out and stick to it because it is an opportunity to get hostages out and that will end suffering for some families.
“Of course, all hostages must come out because hostage taking is immoral, and wrong and a terrorist tactic. And so some of them are British hostages – so we have a strong interest with you.
“But I think this humanitarian pause is also an opportunity to get aid into Gaza. And we want to help you with that by increasing the aid we send by helping with the logistics, by helping in any way that we can.
“I think it is vitally important that we demonstrate to the Palestinian people, to the world, that we want to help. Those people need food, they need water, they need medicine.
“They need fuel, because it’s essential to be able to get the aid around Gaza to work desalination plants, to make sure that hospitals can run. So I think there’s a real opportunity to use this pause to help deliver that, and I hope that can go ahead.”