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In a statement Sunday by British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, the Prime Minister criticized Israel for targeting civilians in a ground and air assault that has left over 1200 dead in 3 weeks. But at the same time, officials in the British government were busy signing agreements with the Israeli military that would commit British intelligence and security resources to supporting the Israeli occupation of Gaza.
The agreement made between Israel and the UK would commit the British Royal Navy to assist in anti-smuggling operations in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. “For a cease-fire to be sustainable, we must address the underlying causes of this conflict, including continued Hamas rocket attacks on Israel and Gaza’s economic isolation,” said Brown Saturday.
Before Israel agreed to a unilateral ceasefire on Saturday, Israeli officials set requirements for each of a number of European nations and the US. The aim, according to Israeli officials, is to completely disarm the Hamas armed wing and all of the Palestinian resistance fighters. This will prevent the Palestinian resistance from engaging in the internationally-recognized right to resist military occupations and invasions of their land, and will allow full Israeli control over the Palestinian people, land and resources.
The European leaders, including Gordon Brown, agreed to the increased commitment to the Israeli military occupation without hesitation on Saturday.
Brown did make note of the work of the United Nations, and commended the Agency for its efforts to provide humanitarian aid to the Palestinian people of Gaza despite numerous Israeli airstrikes and artillery shelling of its shelter sites and food supplies. He also agreed to triple the amount of humanitarian aid that the British government would commit to the region (although it is unclear how much of this money would go to 'security cooperation' with Israel) to 30 million pounds ($44 million).
Brown spoke to reporters on his way to Sharm Al-Sheikh, Egypt, to meet with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Nicholas Sarkozy and other European leaders.