Violence in Gaza has continued to increase in recent days. The most current stage of fighting in the conflict between Israel and Palestine began 15 days ago and officials say at least 649 Palestinians and 31 Israelis have been killed.
International leaders have urged both Hamas and the Israeli government to accept the Egyptian ceasefire proposal, and last week Ed Miliband also encouraged both sides to “return to the negotiating table.”
Today, Douglas Alexander, shadow foreign secretary, has released a statement on the situation, explaining why Labour is calling for “an immediate ceasefire”:
“Before the Israeli ground incursion into Gaza began, I warned that this escalation would be a disaster for the people of both Gaza and Israel, and a strategic error for Israel.
“That is why Labour is now not only calling for an immediate ceasefire, but also have made clear that we oppose the Israeli incursion into Gaza. Events unfolding in Gaza today are the kind of horrors that can define a generation, and risks, in time, recruiting more supporters to terrorist groups like Hamas. A ceasefire will require Hamas to end its indiscriminate rocket fire on Israel and its attempts to infiltrate Israeli civilian areas, and see Israel put an immediate end to Operation Protective Edge which has already killed over 600 Palestinians living in Gaza.
“The urgent priority must be securing that ceasefire, but the ultimate goal must be not just an end to the war, but a strategy for building the peace. An end to terror, blockade and occupation is the only path towards a negotiated two state solution that can bring lasting security and justice to the Israeli and Palestinian people.”