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Diplomat: UK asked Israel, Egypt, Jordan to end Gaza crisis

Nov. 16, 2012 3:59 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 17, 2012 12:06 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- A British diplomat in Jerusalem told Ma'an on Friday that the UK foreign minister has called Israeli, Egyptian and Jordanian counterparts in an effort to halt the crisis in Gaza.

While William Hague has made clear that Hamas is responsible for the current assault, the government makes a distinction between Hamas and the 1.5 million civilians in Gaza, Jerusalem consulate Charge d’Affairs Ben Saol said.

The UK foreign minister said Thursday "Hamas bears principal responsibility for the current crisis. I utterly condemn rocket attacks from Gaza into southern Israel by Hamas and other armed groups."

"I am gravely concerned by the situation in Gaza and southern Israel and deeply regret the loss of civilian life on both sides," Hague said in a statement.

While ministers have talked about the intolerable situation in south Israel, the British government also has empathy with the civilians in Gaza, Saol noted.

British premier David Cameron emphasized in a phone call with Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyhu yesterday the imperative on Israel to de-escalate the situation and avoid civilian casualties, Saol said.

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