Cameron condemns ‘callous’ Hamas over footage of hostage

Cameron condemns ‘callous’ Hamas over footage of hostage

The Foreign Secretary has branded Hamas “callous” over a video showing a British-Israeli hostage who the militants said had died in Gaza.

Lord David Cameron on Sunday said he could give no updates on the fate of Nadav Popplewell as the Foreign Office investigates what happened.

Hamas on Saturday released a statement that the 51-year-old had died after being wounded in an Israeli air strike a month ago.

It provided no evidence for the claim and the Israeli military has not commented.

It came hours after the Palestinian militant group released undated footage of Mr Popplewell, who was taken hostage during its October 7 attack on Israel, with a black eye confirming his name.

Lord Cameron told the BBC’s Sunday With Laura Kuenssberg programme: “I can’t give you any new updates this morning.

“Like everyone else, I watched the video on Twitter, X, last night, put out by Hamas of Nadav answering a question as to who he was. And I watched that video and you just think, what callous people they are to do that, to play with the family’s emotions in that way.

“I met Nadav’s family, his sister, and I know the heartbreak they’ve been going through for over 200 days, and when you see what Hamas are prepared to do, you just realise the terrible, dreadful, inhuman people, frankly, that we are dealing with.”

Lord David Cameron
Lord David Cameron condemned Hamas over the footage (Jeff Overs/BBC/PA)

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) is “trying to work out what has happened” and will not “say anything until we have better information”, he added.

The Tory peer also urged the BBC to call Hamas a terrorist group.

“Maybe it’s a moment actually for the BBC to ask itself again, shall we describe these people as terrorists? They are terrorists.”

In response, a BBC spokesperson said: “No-one consuming BBC News can be left unaware of the horrific nature of Hamas’ acts.

“We’ve made our long-standing position on this matter very clear – we use the word terrorist when it is attributed to others, such as the UK Government.”

On Saturday, an FCDO spokesperson said: “We’re urgently seeking more information following the release of this video. Our thoughts are with his family at this extremely distressing time.

“The UK Government has been working with partners across the region to secure the release of hostages, including British nationals. We will continue to do all we can to secure the release of hostages.”

Israel has previously denied accusations by Hamas that hostages were killed by Israeli fire.

Mr Popplewell was captured with his mother from her home in Kibbutz Nirim, according to the Hostages and Missing Families Forum.

His brother was killed during the attack. His mother was released during a temporary ceasefire in November.

The campaign group described him as “generous and kind” and an avid reader of science fiction novels.

The Israel-Hamas war was triggered by Hamas’s October 7 attack on southern Israel that killed 1,200 people and saw another 250 taken hostage.

The group still holds around 100 captives, with more than 30 thought to be dead.

Israel’s offensive in Gaza has killed more than 34,900 people, according to the local health ministry.