After his call for "restraint" on Saturday, the Shadow Foreign Secretary has just issued this second statement:
“I am gravely concerned about the continuing violence in Gaza and the numbers of civilians killed and injured. The crisis is exacting a terrible human toll on both sides and it is imperative that further loss of life is avoided. I join the Security Council’s call for an immediate ceasefire and call on Arab countries to use their influence to urge Hamas to end rocket attacks on Israel. I also call on Israel to work with the international community so that the humanitarian relief so desperately needed in Gaza can be provided. The British Government must work with the United States and other members of the Middle East Quartet to secure an early return to negotiations in 2009. The only long-term solution is a negotiated two-state agreement that achieves a viable and secure Palestinian state living alongside a secure Israel with her right to live in peace and security recognised by all her neighbours. The world looks to the new President of the United States to place these negotiations at the top of his foreign policy agenda and to pursue them with vigour and determination from the very outset.”
> Robert Halfon on CentreRight: "If we want an enduring peace in the Middle East, then Israel must be allowed to defeat Hamas in Gaza"
> Iain Dale on Hague’s call for a ceasefire: "The trouble is that any Hamas backed ceasefire isn’t worth the paper it is written on. If we have learned nothing from recent history, surely we have learned that."
3.45pm: I’ve just received the best briefing so far on the Gaza situation (by Tom Gross, former Jerusalem correspondent for the Sunday Telegraph). It contains a quotation from Barack Obama that suggests he might be a lot steelier than Mr Hague:
“If somebody was sending rockets into my house where my two daughters
sleep at night, I would do everything to stop that, and would expect
Israel to do the same thing”
– Barack Obama, in July, while visiting Israel as a U.S. presidential candidate