Britain's Prince William and Catherine visit Royal Liverpool University hospital in Liverpool
Prince William said that the human cost of the conflict in Gaza has him "deeply moved as a father". Photo: Reuters / PHIL NOBLE Reuters

While delivering a statement at the British Red Cross in London, Prince William urged world leaders to recognise the "desperate need for increased humanitarian support to Gaza".

"It's critical that aid gets in and the hostages are released," the prince added.

The Prince of Wales has also called for the immediate release of all Israeli hostages captured by Hamas and spoken out against the "terrible human cost of the conflict in the Middle East since the Hamas terrorist attack".

Agreeing with the prince, Beatrice Butsana-Sita, the Chief Executive of the British Red Cross, said: "It is civilians who pay the price as the humanitarian situation continues to deteriorate."

"Like so many others, want to see an end to the fighting as soon as possible," Prince William's statement continued.

This news comes after Labour Party Leader Keir Starmer called for "an immediate humanitarian ceasefire" in Gaza. The ceasefire backing comes as Starmer was threatened by the biggest rebellion amongst Labour MPs since he headed the Party in 2020.

Since October 7, when the Hamas terror group launched its on-the-ground massacre of more than 1,000 Israelis and kidnapped 240 civilians, Israel's relentless bombardment of Gaza has killed more than 29,000 Palestinian civilians – according to the Health Ministry in Gaza.

Out of those murdered by the Israeli Defence Force's (IDF) ground operation and Israel's strikes on the besieged enclave, the Gaza Health Ministry reported that more than 10,000 are children.

In discussions with Red Cross staff about the catastrophic humanitarian situation for civilians caught in the middle of the Middle Eastern conflict, Prince William told the charitable employees that he is "deeply moved as a father".

After witnessing graphic first-hand accounts of the situation in Gaza through a video link call with on-the-ground Red Cross workers, Prince William agreed that far "too many have been killed".

"Sometimes it is only when faced with the sheer scale of human suffering that the importance of permanent peace is brought home," the prince said.

Concluding his speech, the Prince of Wales pledged: "Even in the darkest hour, we must not succumb to the counsel of despair. I continue to cling to the hope that a brighter future can be found and I refuse to give up on that."

Reports note that the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office informed the government about the prince's visit to the charity and later briefed them on his statement beforehand.

In response to the prince's statement, a spokesperson for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: "We want to see an end to the fighting in Gaza as soon as possible, so it is consistent with the government position."

Israel's government also responded to Prince William's statement to the Red Cross.

Eyon Levy, the spokesperson for Israel's government, said: "Israelis of course want to see an end to the fighting as soon as possible, and that will be possible once the 134 hostages are released, and once the Hamas terror army threatening to repeat the October 7 atrocities is dismantled."

A staggering 85 per cent of Gaza's original 2.2 million population has been displaced, with more than 1.5 million Palestinian civilians seeking refuge in Rafah – a city located at the South of the Strip and on the border of Egypt.

After being criticised for assaulting the southern region, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that his forces would continue its bombardment of the Palestinian territory, as "it is impossible to achieve the war's goal of eliminating Hamas by leaving four of its battalions in Rafah".

According to the IDF, the military has killed up to 9,000 Hamas fighters in less than 150 days of fighting.

Hamas responded to the death toll claims, saying that around 6,000 of its militants have been killed.