Britain's Mideast Minister: It Is Unwise to Challenge Israel With a Flotilla to Gaza

U.K. Deputy Foreign Minister Alistair Burt expresses concern about the situation in Gaza but says aid should not be delivered through 'a sea journey', stresses Israel, Palestinians must take risks to renew negotiations.

Britain's minister for the Middle East Alistair Burt said Tuesday that challenging Israel with a Gaza-bound flotilla is unwise.

"The U.K. does not think that challenging Israel with a flotilla is a wise thing to do," Burt said during a briefing on Tuesday.

British Foreign Office minister Alistair Burt speaking in Amman, Jordan, Thursday, Jan. 20, 2011. AP

He also stressed that the U.K does not believe that humanitarian aid to Gaza "should be delivered through a sea journey" and said he does not advise U.K. nationals to go to Gaza.

However, Burt emphasized that the U.K. remains very concerned about the situation in Gaza and does not agree with Israel about the issue, noting that 50% of the people in Gaza are dependent on aid.

The British minister also stressed the importance of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

"The talks will require leaders to take risks… the current situation is unsustainable," Burt warned and assured that the U.K. will put all its efforts in getting both sides back to the table.

Haaretz's diplomatic correspondent Barak Ravid's live tweets from the briefing