British envoy warns that Hamas rockets have to stop

A woman cries after rockets devastate Kiryat Malachi

A woman cries after rockets devastate Kiryat Malachi

Britain's ambassador to Israel, Matthew Gould, returned today from a spontaneous visit to Kiryat Malachi, where three Israelis were killed by Palestinian rocket fire from Gaza, pledging solidarity with the people of southern Israel.

Mr Gould, who visited the apartment building in which the Israelis died, said: "It was really grim and desperately upsetting. We talk about civilian casualties, but to go and see for oneself, to see a family destroyed - it puts a very different perspective on matters.

"People should not have to live like that, having only 15 seconds to get to a bomb shelter. The rocket attacks have to stop".

The ambassador said it was very important to show solidarity with the people of the south of Israel. "My message is that I stand with these people. The situation is intolerable". He added that he "bitterly regretted" civilian casualties on both sides.

Mr Gould made his visit alone but the diaspora affairs minister, Yuli Edelstein, later called for other foreign ambassadors to follow the British diplomat's example.

Last updated: 4:39pm, November 15 2012