I am appalled by the situation unfolding in Israel, Gaza and the Occupied Palestinian territories. I utterly condemn Hamas’s murder and kidnap of Israeli civilians. There can be no justification for the killing of innocent civilians.
Innocent people in Gaza should not be made to pay for Hamas’s crimes. The decision to cut off energy, water and food to the entire civilian population, and today’s order for 1.1 million people to leave their homes represent collective punishment.
Given Britain’s distinct role in creating this cycle of killing and bloodshed in the Middle East, our country has a special responsibility to push for peace in the region, not to fuel war.
Our immediate priorities must be establishing a ceasefire, securing the release of Israeli hostages and allowing humanitarian access to food, water, energy and medicines for Gaza. Our long-term priorities must be ensuring that the fundamental rights of Israelis and Palestinians are upheld. A just and lasting peace can only be achieved by upholding international law.