'I'm Asking You To Be Clear': Kay Burley Clashes With Oliver Dowden Over Israel-Hamas Ceasefire Calls

The deputy PM insisted Israel was "seeking to minimise civilian casualties".
Kay Burley grills Oliver Dowden on Sky News
Kay Burley grills Oliver Dowden on Sky News
Sky News

Oliver Dowden clashed with Kay Burley this morning as calls grow for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas war.

The deputy prime minister insisted Israel was “seeking to minimise civilian casualties” as it carries out strikes on Gaza.

More than 5,000 Palestinians are believed to have been killed as Israel carries out retaliatory strikes for Hamas’ terrorist attacks on the country nearly three weeks ago which left 1,400 Israelis dead.

Appearing on Sky News, Dowden defended the government’s decision not to demand for a ceasefire in the conflict.

Instead, ministers have supported calls for a “humanitarian pause” to let aid get into Gaza.

Dowden - who will today chair a meeting of the government’s Cobra committee on the crisis - said: “I don’t think it’s a reasonable position to say, when Hamas has attacked Israel [and] Israel needs to take action to protect itself, we can have a complete cessation of hostilities.

“Israel has to take action to remove this threat against its civilians, which has cost it over a thousand lives.”

He added: “The position of the UK government is what’s right, and what is right and it is right that we allow humanitarian aid in and it’s also the case that Israel has a right to defend itself against these terrorist attacks.”

But Burley asked him: “What about the loss of life in Gaza?”

Dowden said: “I deplore the loss of any civilian life, but actually the way to stop the loss of more civilian lives is to remove this terrorist threat and to move to a position where we can restore peace and stability to this region.”

Asked if there was a “humanitarian crisis” in Gaza, Dowden said: “Kay, we need to be clear ...”

Interrupting the deputy PM, Burley said: “I’m asking you to be clear.”

Dowden said: “This came about in the first place because the fences around Gaza were breached by Hamas terrorists - they charged in there and they murdered over a thousand people.”

But Burley replied: “I’m talking to you this morning about a woman with a dead baby in her arms.”

The deputy prime minister replied: “This hasn’t occurred in a vacuum. This has occurred in a situation where Israel is now seeking to take action to protect its civilians, its country, from this abhorrent terrorist attack and stop it happening again.”

He insisted Israel was “seeking to minimise civilian casualties” and said the UK was urging Tel Aviv to respect international law.

Burley hit back: “Some civilian impact - have you seen the pictures?”

Dowden said: “Of course I’ve seen the pictures and it’s heartbreaking, the loss of any innocent civilian life. But the way that we stop this continuing violence is to eliminate the risk of Hamas terrorist attacks from Gaza.”


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