By Paul Goodman
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This site reported yesterday that 17 Conservative MP had written to the Daily Telegraph on behalf of Conservative Friends of Israel, urging the
Government to maintain its position of not dealing with Hamas.
The Conservative Middle East Council has also released a statement from Nicholas Soames, CMEC's President, and Baroness Morris, its Chairman. They support "the efforts of our Foreign Secretary in dealing with the tragic and escalating conflict in the Gaza strip and Israel", and say:
"We endorse our Foreign Secretary’s calls for a ceasefire and believe it is right for him to push for both sides to de-escalate, avoid civilian casualties and abide by international humanitarian law.
The conflict has already wreaked an appalling wave of violence upon many innocent civilians. Furthermore, it has also served to boost Hamas’ prominence, further weaken the Palestinian Authority’s President Mahmoud Abbas, and divert regional attention from the continuing bloodshed in Syria.
The people of Gaza still bear the scars and suffer the traumatic legacy of the Cast Lead operation in 2009. It is therefore imperative that another Israeli ground invasion of the Gaza strip must be averted: such an action would surely lead to an even greater civilian death toll, a significant loss of international sympathy and support for Israel, and a prolonged and deepening conflict across the occupied Palestinian territories."