Prince William says 'too many have been killed' in Gaza conflict

KIN CHEUNG/ POOL/ AFP

Prince William called on Tuesday for an end to the fighting in Gaza, saying too many people had been killed, in an usually direct intervention for a member of the British royal family.

William, the 41-year-old heir to the throne, made the statement on the day he visited London-based aid charities working in the region, which his office said was aimed at recognising the human suffering caused by the Middle East conflict.

The Prince of Wales, who in 2018 became the first senior British royal to make an official visit to Israel and the occupied Palestinian Territories, will next week visit a synagogue to hear from young people who are involved in tackling hatred and antisemitism as part of his engagement schedule.

"I, like so many others, want to see an end to the fighting as soon as possible. There is a desperate need for increased humanitarian support to Gaza. It’s critical that aid gets in and the hostages are released," said William.

With his father King Charles currently absent from official public duties as he undergoes treatment for cancer, William has been expected to take on more high-profile engagements.

In general, British royals avoid making statements on political issues, but before his father became king, he spoke out on matters close to his heart.

Global calls for an end to the fighting in Gaza have mounted in recent weeks, as Israel prepares to expand its ground assault in the southern city of Rafah, where more than 1 million of the 2.3 million Palestinians in Gaza have sought shelter.

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

The war in Gaza started on October 7 when Hamas fighters burst into southern Israel, killing 1,200 people, mostly civilians, and seizing 253 hostages, according to Israeli tallies.

Since then the Israeli military response has resulted in the deaths of more than 29,000 Palestinians, according to Palestinian health authorities.

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