The Green Party has called on the UK government to push for an immediate ceasefire to stop the mass killing of civilians in the Israel-Gaza conflict.
Carne Ross, Green Party spokesperson for Global Solidarity and former UK diplomat, said: “As more details emerge, we are appalled by the brutality of Hamas’s attacks and its seizure of hostages. The release of those hostages, who include women and children, must be immediate and unconditional. Israel’s people have every right to safety and security.
“There are also civilians in Gaza who must be protected. We are deeply concerned at the civilian casualties from Israel’s military action, the imposition of a blockade for food, water and fuel, and the forced displacement of the civilian population. All parties, including Israel, are obliged to adhere to international humanitarian law and the laws of war. These actions are in clear breach of those rules.
“The only way to prevent further mass civilian casualties and mass suffering is for the fighting to stop. The UK must join international calls for an immediate ceasefire. At the same time, there must be immediate access for humanitarian assistance to the civilian population and the resumption of water, fuel and food supplies.
“There is only one way to secure peace between Israel and the Palestinians. That is for a just political settlement based on the end of occupation of the Palestinian territories. There should not be a return to a never-ending ‘peace process’ that risks disruption by extremists, but an urgent and vigorous international effort to bring about the creation of a Palestinian state, allowing Israel and Palestine to exist safely within their own borders.”
Carne Ross is the former head of the Arab/Israel desk at the Foreign Office and the former head of Middle East policy at the UK Mission to the UN. He resigned over the Iraq War in 2004.