UK's Sunak in call to Netanyahu stresses need minimise Gaza civilan casualties

LONDON (Reuters) -Prime Minister Rishi Sunak stressed the importance of taking all possible measures to minimise casualties and protect civilians in a call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday.

"The Prime Minister reiterated the UK’s resolute backing for Israel’s right to defend itself against terrorism, while emphasising the importance of taking all possible measures to minimise civilian casualties," the Downing Street statement said.

The readout from Sunak's office said he also discussed the situation in the West Bank and "the long-term goal of a two-state solution" with Netanyahu.

"The Prime Minister noted the importance of all sides avoiding actions that would inflame tensions and keeping hope alive for a more secure and prosperous future for both Israelis and Palestinians," the statement said.

The British prime minister's office said Sunak has also spoken with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and discussed the humanitarian crisis unfolding in Gaza.

"He said the UK would continue to support diplomatic action to protect Palestinian civilians, prevent wider escalation and secure a peaceful and lasting resolution to the crisis," a separate Downing Street statement said.

(Reporting by Farouq Suleiman; editing by William James)