Last week I joined 32 other members of parliament in calling for a ceasefire in Gaza. I condemn the killing of innocent Israeli citizens on October 7th and the taking of hostages by the terrorist group Hamas. The brutality of the attack is beyond comprehension. I stand firmly in the belief that Israel has the right to defend itself and indeed has a moral obligation to do so.
My desire for an immediate ceasefire is not out of some misguided belief that there would be a permanent end in the hostilities. No, I doubt that would be the case. Rather, this request is to allow more time for hostage negotiation; to provide an opportunity for those wanting out of Gaza to leave and for much needed humanitarian aid supplies to reach the innocent Palestinian people. In the name of humanity, we need to do all that we can to ensure more innocent civilians do not suffer – in Gaza – in Israel, and throughout the world, underscoring our collective responsibility to uphold the principles of humanity, dignity, and protection for all.
I hope there is a road to peace. I hope no more innocent civilians suffer, and that those who want to leave can leave. I pray for the release of hostages, and I hope humanitarian aid finds its way quickly to those in need.