UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak pledged his support for Israel amid its war with Hamas during a speech at a London synagogue on Monday.
Sunak spoke at Finchley United Synagogue on Monday night after Hamas attacked Israel at the weekend, killing more than 1,000.
“As the prime minister of this country, I am categorical,” Sunak said. “The people who support Hamas are fully responsible for this heinous attack. They are not fighters. They are not freedom fighters. They are terrorists. And their barbaric acts are acts of evil.
“To stand with you in this hour of sorrow as we mourn the victims of an utterly despicable act of terror,” he said. “To stand with you in this hour of prayer as we think of those who are being held hostage and your friends and loved ones who are fleeing bomb shelters or risking their lives on the front lines. And, perhaps most of all, I wanted to come here tonight to stand with you in solidarity in Israel’s time of need.”
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After the surprise attack on Saturday, Israel’s security cabinet officially declared war that night against Hamas.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Hamas “will pay an unprecedented price. … This war will take time. It will be difficult.”
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An estimated 1,600 people have been killed so far, more than 1,000 in Israel.
“In the past few days, we have seen heinous acts, which outrage the worst of humanity,” Sunak told a packed synagogue. “And peace may feel further away than it has in a long time.”
“And I will stand by you, the British Jewish community, not just today, not just tomorrow, but always.”
A joint statement by Sunak and the leaders of the United States, Germany, France and Italy released on Monday said the countries support Israel’s efforts to defend itself.
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“We express our firm and united support for the State of Israel and our unequivocal condemnation of Hamas and its horrific terrorist acts. Here is our joint statement. We make it clear that Hamas’ terrorist acts have no justification, no legitimacy, and must to be universally condemned”, the announcement states.
“There is never any excuse for terrorism. In recent days, the world has watched in horror as Hamas terrorists massacred families in their homes, massacred over 200 young people enjoying a music festival, and kidnapped elderly women, children and entire families. are now being held hostage.”
Stephen Sorace of Fox News Digital contributed to this report.