Rishi Sunak pushed to back Israel-Hamas ceasefire – as UK sends first flight of aid for Gaza | Politics News

MPs from all sides of the Commons have continued to add pressure onto Rishi Sunak to call for a ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas conflict

Members from a range of parties said there was a “human responsibility” to protect civilians in the Gaza Strip who have had their water and power supplies cut off by Israel following the attacks by Hamas on 7 October.

The prime minister insisted the “first and most important principle is that Israel has the right to defend itself under law”.

However, Mr Sunak agreed humanitarian aid was needed to get to civilians in Gaza, and confirmed an RAF plane was on its way to the region with 21 tonnes of supplies, including medical equipment and water filters.

Politics live: Starmer has cross words for laughing Tories

Speaking at this week’s Prime Minister’s Questions, the deputy leader of the SNP, Mhairi Black, pointed to warnings from the United Nations that some hospitals in Gaza City had less than 20 hours of fuel left and their electricity “runs out tonight”.

“We have a human responsibility to all the people in Gaza, but we have a particular responsibility for UK citizens, some of whom are in those hospitals with no food, no water, no medicine, and no way out,” she added.

“So I want to ask the prime minister how much worse does the situation have to get before he will join us in calls for a humanitarian ceasefire?”

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

‘My only son is gone’ – Palestinian families speak after hours of intensified bombardment across the Gaza Strip

Ms Black also raised the growing tensions in the West Bank, with UNICEF reporting over 2,000 fatalities and over 5,000 injured children since the conflict began, saying: “If we ignore this, we risk putting petrol on a fire in a place that only requires a spark to ignite.”

The leader of Northern Ireland’s SDLP (Social Democratic and Labour Party), Colum Eastwood, referenced the Troubles in his question to Mr Sunak, telling the Commons: “A few short months ago the world came to Belfast to celebrate the Good Friday Agreement. At the heart of that agreement was the realisation that we could not use violence as a tool for revenge to achieve our political aims.

“As 1,400 Israelis and almost 6,000 Palestinians lay dying and dead, when will the prime minister say enough is enough? When will he call for a ceasefire?”

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

IDF: Hamas is the cause of destruction

Labour’s Yasmin Qureshi also echoed the calls – although the party’s leadership remains aligned with the government in not yet calling for a ceasefire.

She read an email from one of her constituents with relatives in Gaza, that said: “My heart can’t handle this. We are being massacred, relentlessly bombed, homes are being destroyed [and there is] no water, no food, no electricity.”

The MP pointed to a report from Save the Children that said one child is being killed every 15 minutes in the conflict, before adding: “This is collective punishment of the Palestinian people in Gaza for crimes they did not commit.

“How many more innocents must die before this prime minister calls for a humanitarian ceasefire?”

Please use Chrome browser for a more accessible video player

Labour’s Yasmin Qureshi warns the lives of 130 babies in Gaza are in danger

In response to the calls, Mr Sunak urged people to remember that Israel had suffered “a shockingly brutal terrorist attack”, saying: “Hamas is responsible for this conflict and Israel has the right to protect itself line with international law as the UN Charter makes clear.”

But, he added: “It is also clear that we must support the Palestinian people. They are victims of Hamas too. Hamas uses innocent people as human shields.

“We mourn the loss of every innocent life, people of every faith, of every nationality, and we are working as hard as we can to get as much humanitarian aid to Gaza as quickly as practically possible.”

Source link

Related Articles

Back to top button