Tonight I voted for an enduring cessation of violence in the Middle East

People have been rightly horrified and deeply distressed to see the unfolding war in Gaza.

The events of 7th October were abhorrent and Israel has the right to defend itself against Hamas. But that right can only ever be exercised within international law and there can never be any justification for failing to do so.

The targeting of hospitals in Gaza, of refugee camps and allegations around the use of white phosphorus by the Israeli military are totally wrong and indefensible.

Labour has therefore called for the International Criminal Court to investigate and address the allegations of war crimes in Gaza and we have called for Israel to protect hospitals and lift the siege conditions allowing food, water, electricity, medicine and fuel into Gaza.

We have called for an end to the expansion of illegal settlements and settler violence in the West Bank because we recognise and believe that a political process to deliver the lasting peace of a two-state solution cannot be achieved whilst the illegal occupation continues.

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