Rushanara Ali MP urged the Prime Minister to show courage and international leadership in bringing the escalating violence in Gaza to an end.
Reminding the Prime Minister of his 2010 comments on Gaza, Rushanara highlighted the significant and rapidly-escalating number of death in the latest escalation of bloodshed in Gaza, which has claimed hundreds of lives and displaced over 100,000 people:
“Does the Prime Minister stand by his words in 2010 that “the blockade in Gaza must not remain a prison camp”? Does he believe the killings of 500 people and 83,000 displaced people is proportionate in response to the attacks he has mentioned? And, can I appeal to him to show courage and international leadership to help bring an end to this conflict, to act as an honest broker, and bring an end to this humanitarian catastrophe?”
In his response, David Cameron said:
“The point the Honourable Lady makes by reading out the remarks I made is that I have a consistent record of defending Israel’s right to defend itself but also speaking out when I think that wrong things are being done. I am doing everything I can to bring this conflict to an end and I think the most important thing, as I said, is for Hamas to accept the ceasefires that Israel has been prepared to accept.”
The UN now estimates that more than 700 Palestinians have been killed, and over 100,000 people in Gaza have been displaced from their homes. 85,000 of these people have sought UN refuge. In total, 30 Israelis have been killed, 27 of whom were soldiers.
In remarks made on his visit to Washington, Labour leader Ed Miliband condemned the latest escalation of violence: "I defend Israel's right to defend itself against rocket attacks. But I cannot explain, justify or defend the horrifying deaths of hundreds of Palestinians, including children and innocent civilians."
Speaking after the debate, Rushanara said:
“The news from Gaza is horrifying. The UK now must urgently take a lead role in bringing together the international community to ensure humanitarian law is upheld. The Prime Minister needs to show international leadership, working with the EU and the USA and help bring an end to the conflict. The horrendous images of innocent civilian casualties from Gaza over the past weeks show the profound urgency of the situation.”