Israel has shown it is responsible by giving notice to civilians to leave Gaza, says Heappey

Israel has shown it is responsible by giving notice to civilians to leave Gaza, says Heappey
Harvey Gough

By Harvey Gough

Published: 16/10/2023

- 10:20

Updated: 16/10/2023

- 10:20

Armed Forces Minister James Heappey slammed protesters for celebrating killings by Hamas

ISRAEL has shown that it is a “responsible actor” by giving civilians advance notice to evacuate northern Gaza ahead of an expected ground invasion, according to Armed Forces Minister James Heappey.

He told GB News: “There is safe haven. Israel has been clear that people should move south, below the wadi, and that will put them out of reach of their planned operations.

“But let's be crystal clear, Israel is the democracy that is giving notice to civilians and asking them to move south. It is Hamas who uses civilians as human shields and that is the key distinction here.”

In a discussion during Breakfast with Eamonn Holmes and Isabel Webster, he continued: “Our involvement is threefold. Firstly, we are planning and executing the evacuation of British citizens from the region should they wish to leave.

“There are opportunities to do that both from Tel Aviv, where a number of flights have now departed, but also we hope later today through the Rafah crossing on the border between Gaza and Egypt as well.

“Secondly, we have troops in the region as well as planes and soon ships. Their presence is to guard against the wider escalation of the conflict and to ward off other actors like Iran, for example, from getting involved.

“And then thirdly, we're offering support to Israel directly. Now, the nature of that is still to be decided and clearly, the Prime Minister will need to consider carefully if any requests are made, but we have made the offer and we wait to hear what the Israelis need of us.”

On protests, he added: “I cannot think of any time, when I was a soldier nor now as a minister in defence, where I have ever taken any joy in the loss of human life of those that I consider to be my adversaries.

“And yet what we've seen in these protests over the weekend, is people in London doing exactly that. Now, they are entitled to their opinion about the plight of the Palestinians. They are not entitled to celebrate the work of Hamas, a proscribed terrorist organisation.”

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