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Cam talks to Israel's PM

Cam talks to Israel's PM
David Cameron has told the Israeli prime minister he should do all he can to avoid civilian casualties as fighting continues in Gaza tonight.

He told Benjamin Netanyahu that the "priority must be to de-escalate the crisis" and called both sides of the conflict to avoid a "spiral of violence".

Speaking earlier, Middle East envoy Tony Blair warned the conflict in Gaza could cause "huge upheaval" across the entire region, as he urged Hamas to "stop the violence coming out of Gaza".

The former prime minister warned that if rockets continue to be fired at southern Israel out of Gaza, then Israeli "retaliation" will increase.

“The fact is, if rockets are fired out of Gaza then the government of Israel is going to take action," he told Sky News.

"The short term thing that needs to happen is that all of it is deescalated back down. That means that the rockets stop, because of the rockets carry on the Israeli airstrikes carry on. 

"What happens is, as we’ve seen, in that there will be innocent Israeli civilians killed innocent Palestinians killed. It’s obvious that if the rockets come out of Gaza, and Hamas continue to fire those, then there will be retaliation.”

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu threatened to expand his country’s operations in the Gaza Strip today, following a night of airstrikes in which the head of Hamas’s military operations, Ahmed al-Jaabari, was killed, along with at least six others.

The Israeli Prime Minister's spokesperson, Mark Regev, said the Hamas military threat was "formidible".

"The alerts in Tel Aviv earlier today show how formidable the missile threat is from Gaza, the fact that over the last few months with the help of the Iranians, Hamas has built up a very formidable military terrorist machine and that we can't ignore this any longer," he said.

Foreign Secretary William Hague has expressed "grave concern" about the situation in Gaza and southern Israel, and urged all sides to show restraint.

Mr Hague said he "utterly condemns" rockets attacks on southern Israel from Hamas militants, claiming they create an "intolerable situation" for civilians. But he also strongly urged Israel to "do their utmost" to reduce tension and avoid civilian casualties.

“I am gravely concerned by the situation in Gaza and Southern Israel and deeply regret the loss of civilian life on both sides. I call on all those involved to avoid any action which risks civilian casualties or escalates the crisis," he said.

"It is imperative to avoid the risk of a spiral of violence. The escalation of the conflict would be in no one's interest, particularly at a time of instability in the region."

A Number 10 spokesperson said: "The Prime Minister said that the priority must be to de-escalate the crisis.

"He called on Mr Netanyahu to do all he could to avoid civilian casualties and emphasised that both sides needed to avoid a spiral of violence that would be in no-one's interest, particularly at a time of instability in the region."

Green Box: Cam talks to Israel's PMClick to open

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