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Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron urges Israel to open port to allow aid to flow into Gaza

Israel has been urged by Foreign Secretary Lord David Cameron to open one of its ports to allow aid arriving by sea to get through to Gaza.

He also called for more visas to be issued to UN workers to ensure humanitarian assistance could be distributed in the Palestinian territory.

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Speaking in the House of Lords, Lord Cameron said: "We are doing all we can to increase aid into Gaza.

"We have been collaborating with Jordan on humanitarian aid drops and are now working with partners to operationalise a maritime aid corridor from Cyprus.

"However, this cannot substitute delivery by land which remains the best way to get aid in at the scale that is needed."

He added: "Israel must remove restrictions on aid and restore electricity, water and telecommunications."

Lord Cameron went on: "If Israel really wanted to help they could open Ashdod port which is in Israel, which is a fully functioning port, that could really maximise the delivery of aid from Cyprus straight into Israel and therefore into Gaza."

On distributing aid in Gaza, he added: "This is one of the trickiest pieces of the jigsaw - one of the things Israel needs to do is give out more visas to UN workers, who are capable of distributing the aid when it arrives into Gaza."

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Some of the blockages of aid into Gaza are the responsibility of Israel, according to the Tory peer.

The foreign secretary said: "Getting more aid into Gaza requires the work of more than just Israel taking the relevant steps, but Israel is the country that could, I think, make the greatest difference because some of the blockages and the screening problems and all the rest of it are their responsibility."

He highlighted the example of 18 trucks sent from Jordan being held for 18 days at a crossing.

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On Israel's legal position, Lord Cameron said: "It's true that how Israel behaves as the occupying power in terms of allowing humanitarian aid into Gaza... is a material consideration when it comes to looking at how they are complying with international humanitarian law."

On Hamas, which sparked the conflict by carrying out last year's cross-border massacre, he said: "We completely agree that you are not going to have a two-state solution if the people responsible for 7 October are still running any part of Gaza."