Middle East

Prince William wants to see ‘end to the fighting’ in Gaza ‘as soon as possible’

By Max Foster and Niamh Kennedy, CNN

CNN  — 

Britain’s Prince William has shared his concern over Israel’s five months-long military offensive in Gaza, saying he wants to “see an end to the fighting as soon as possible.”

“I remain deeply concerned about the terrible human cost of the conflict in the Middle East since the Hamas terrorist attack on 7 October. Too many have been killed,” the prince said in a statement on Tuesday.

The heir to the throne said that he “like so many others” wants “an end to the fighting as soon as possible.”

The Israeli military launched its campaign in Gaza after the Hamas-led October 7 attacks that killed around 1,200 people in southern Israel. Israeli attacks on Gaza have since killed at least 29,092 Palestinians and injured another 69,028, according to the Ministry of Health in Gaza.

Israel’s bombardment and besiegement of the strip have crushed the health care system, wiped out entire neighborhoods and exposed the population of nearly 2.3 million people to starvation, dehydration and deadly disease. At least 1.7 million people have been forcibly displaced, according to the UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

A growing chorus of leaders have condemned the mounting death toll in Gaza. Earlier this week, the US proposed a UN Security Council draft resolution calling for a temporary ceasefire.

The prince used his message to call for “increased humanitarian support” to Gaza, calling it “critical” for both aid to be allowed in and the hostages taken by Hamas to be released.

“Sometimes it is only when faced with the sheer scale of human suffering that the importance of permanent peace is brought home,” Prince William said.

“Even in the darkest hour, we must not succumb to the counsel of despair. I continue to cling to the hope that a brighter future can be found and I refuse to give up on that,” he said in his concluding remark.

‘Deeply moved as a father’

The prince said he was “deeply moved as a father” by a meeting he had with workers from an aid charity working in Gaza, according to Kensington Palace.

He paid a visit on Tuesday to the London headquarters of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) who have been providing a humanitarian response to the war in Gaza.

At least 17,000 children in Gaza — about 1% of the total displaced population — are unaccompanied or separated from their parents, according to the UN’s children’s agency. More than one million Palestinian children now require mental health and psychological support.

A royal source told CNN that Prince William has followed the region “closely” since he visited in 2018.

Although the prince did make a statement not long after the Hamas attacks on October 7, it was the “extent of the human suffering that is on display” that led him to make the statement on Tuesday, the royal source added.

The British royal family has long taken a stance of political neutrality and does not comment on political issues. The royal source told CNN that the British government was briefed by the foreign office in advance of the prince’s statement and engagements this week.

CNN’s Ibrahim Dahman, Eyad Kourdi and Jomana Karadsheh contributed reporting.

Related Articles

Back to top button