I unequivocally condemn the barbaric attacks carried out by Hamas on 7th October which seen many Israeli citizens lose their lives, many more suffer injuries and others being taken hostage. 

Hamas’ actions are inexcusable, and the international community should continue to call for an end to its attacks on Israel and the immediate release of all hostages.

However, Israel’s response to these attacks has been indiscriminate, collectively punishing Palestinians in Gaza for the crimes of Hamas.

We have all seen the harrowing images of the worsening humanitarian crisis in Gaza as a result of Israel’s continuous and indiscriminate bombing campaign.

Thousands of Palestinians have lost their lives, vital public infrastructure has been destroyed, many have been forcibly displaced from their homes and vital supplies like water and power are being blocked.

Israel’s response has little to do with self-defence and has instead become an aggressive campaign against the Palestinians in defiance of international law.

The international community has a responsibility to now intervene politically in this conflict.  That means calling for an immediate ceasefire and the creation of humanitarian corridors to enable vital access for aid into Gaza.

However, it also means bringing both sides together to negotiate a lasting political settlement which delivers both a sovereign state of Israel and an independent Palestinian state free of occupation.

The UK must call for peace, urge Israel to end its bombing campaign and abandon any plans for a ground incursion into Gaza, and make the case for a lasting political settlement which can command the respects of both Israelis and Palestinians.