Action is urgently needed to halt violence in Gaza says Rushanara Ali MP

Following news of the horrifying outbreak of violence and conflict in Gaza, Rushanara Ali, MP for Bethnal Green and Bow said “I am gravely concerned about the current situation in Gaza and southern Israel and horrified by the news that over 90 Palestinians and three Israelis have died since Operation Pillar of Defence began. Action is urgently needed to put an end to the violence on all sides and prevent this crisis from escalating further. I strongly condemn both the continuing Israeli air strikes and the rocket attacks into southern Israel. I urge the Israeli authorities to act in accordance with international law and to immediately cease taking action that exacerbates the conflict and puts further civilian lives at risk.

“We cannot stand by and watch this carnage unfold in Gaza. The international community must apply the strongest pressure on both sides to put an end to the violence and agree to an immediate ceasefire before this crisis spirals into a repeat of Israel’s operation Cast Led which resulted in over 1,400 Palestinian civilian deaths. The international community must also exert pressure on Israel to allow vital aid and medical supplies to reach those innocent civilians who have been caught up and severely injured in the crossfire in the Gaza strip. My thoughts and prayers are with the families who have lost their loved ones in the conflict.

“Both Palestinians and Israelis deserve to live in peace, security and without fear of attack. This most recent outbreak of violence and bloodshed highlights the fragility of the situation in Gaza and the importance of working towards a viable and just two state solution in the Middle East”.

Ed Miliband, Leader of the Labour Party, said:

“The deaths in Gaza and Israel are horrifying. It is a very dangerous moment not just for Israel and the Palestinians but for the region. A halt to violence on both sides is now absolutely critical.

“A full scale ground invasion would be a disaster for the peoples of both Gaza and Israel. It would damage profoundly hopes for peace and security and could lead to another humanitarian crisis.

“Both sides, regional players and the international community - including the UK Government - share a profound moral duty to do everything possible to prevent such a catastrophic development. Every effort must be made through the United Nations, the Quartet, The Arab League and the wider international community to reverse decisively the unfolding dynamic of events. Time is now very short to avert another catastrophe.”