David Cameron
David CameronREUTERS/Stoyan Nenov

UK Foreign Secretary Lord David Cameron says that while he opposes an Israeli offensive in Rafah, banning arms sales to Israel would not be a solution and would only make Hamas stronger.

Speaking to BBC's Laura Kuenssberg, the Secretary stated: "We don't believe they (Israel) should not go in for a major operation in Rafah unless they have a plan to move people out of the way and to make sure they have shelter, food, and medicine. We haven't seen that plan, so we don't support a major operation in Rafah."

Asked whether the UK would follow the United States and stop arms exports to Israel, Cameron noted that the UK supplies only 1% of Israel's weapons and added: "The last time I was urged to do that, I didn't do it, just a few days later there was a brutal attack by Iran on Israel including 140 cruise missiles. That's not some tiny drones, huge cruise missiles blasting into Israel. I think it (stopping arms shipments) would have sent an entirely wrong message, it would have been a very unwise move."

He proposed a better solution: "Hamas must take the hostage deal, you get the pause in the fighting, you build a ceasefire out of that.

"I think actually, just to simply announce today that we're going to change our approach to arms exports, rather than go through our careful process, it would strengthen Hamas, it would make a hostage deal less likely, I don't think it would be the right approach," insisted Cameron.

The Foreign Secretary explained that in his opinion US President Biden is in a different position: "For them, it's not a matter of principle, they are a massive state supplier of weaponry, they are involved in the IDF tactical and strategic thinking. It's a totally different situation."

Cameron said that what he is aiming for is for British policy to have an impact. According to him, the UK has three goals: "We want to stop the fighting, get the hostages out, and remove the Hamas threat. We want to get aid into the Palestinian people in Gaza and crucially we want the long-term solution of the two-state solution." He believes his government is getting that done. "I'm not really interested in the message sending, I'm interested in what can we do to maximize the British pressure and the outcome that can help people and their lives, including getting the hostages, including British nationals by the way released."

Regarding humanitarian, he says that while he has seen some positive change, he is disappointed with the amount of aid going through.

Cameron shared that while the UK will not be putting boots on the ground to unload aid arriving in Gaza as was discussed, a Royal Navy ship will act as a logistical hub in transporting aid to and from the US-constructed pier off the Gaza coast. He explained that in his and Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's opinion, putting boots on the ground is not a good move and that there are others who can do it, adding that it will probably done via a contractor.