18 Dec 2023

UK, Germany call for 'sustainable' ceasefire in Gaza

From Morning Report, 8:38 am on 18 December 2023

The UK and Germany have released a joint call for a sustainable ceasefire in Gaza while French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna says an "immediate truce is necessary".

The statements form part of a building international momentum... as more and more of the world's leaders call for a curtailment of violence against Palestinian civilians.

Within Israel, demands to pause fighting and secure the release of hostages are becoming louder.

This comes after Israel admitted its troops killed three hostages in Gaza mistaking them for a threat.

They were reported to be carrying a white flag at the time. Families of those still in captivity say Israel needs to make the first move.

But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu remains staunch that Israel will not stop until the threat posed by Hamas is quashed.

Meanwhile, four major shipping companies have stopped vessels passing through the Red Sea due to recent attacks from Yemen's Houthi rebels.

Approximately twelve percent of the world's traded goods pass through the route... which connects the Mediterranean and Indian oceans via the Suez Canal.

To unpack all this, Charlotte Cook spoke with the BBC's security correspondent Frank Gardner from Jerusalem.

He told me there was a deep feeling of unease within western countries about the mounting death toll in Gaza.