As I write this, human beings are dying. More than 10,000 people in Gaza have been killed, half of whom are children. Survivors still under siege are running out of the basic means of survival. Doctors are performing surgery without anaesthesia. Mothers are watching their babies fight for survival in incubators running out of electricity. People are being forced to drink seawater. More than 1 million people have been displaced from their homes. Hospitals, schools and mosques have been destroyed.

The attack by Hamas – which killed 1,400 people and took 200 hostages – was utterly deplorable and must be condemned. People across Israel will still be mourning their loved ones, who were brutally gunned down, and longing for the return of those who were so cruelly taken captive.

This cannot justify the indiscriminate killing of Palestinians, who are paying the price for a crime they did not commit. In the aftermath of horror, we need voices for peace. Instead, our political leaders have given the green light to the annihilation of Gaza, and have failed to defend the universal application of universal law.

Both the Prime Minister and Labour leadership insist on a humanitarian “pause”, instead of a ceasefire. A humanitarian pause is not enough! Innocent people deserve more than just brief respite before the bombing resumes. A ceasefire is a basic demand to stop the killings, and it is a demand that should be made by any representative committed to the protection of civilian life.

I have campaigned on human rights across the world for all my political life. This includes a commitment to recognising the state of Palestine and for, as I have called for, “an immediate return to meaningful negotiations leading to a diplomatic solution.” I have been consistently active, speaking out in public and in Parliament on the treatment of the Palestinians for decades. In parliament I have made speeches, interventions in debates and Urgent questions, signed parliamentary motions, amendments, and more. I have attended countless meetings and demonstrations, and am privileged to be asked to do.

Recently, I wrote to the Prime Minister demanding:

• Call for an immediate ceasefire, the release of hostages and an end to the siege of Gaza.
• Push for unfettered access of food, water, fuel, electricity, and medical supplies into Gaza.
• Insist that all parties comply unequivocally with international law.
• Condemn clear breaches of international law.
• Support demands for an independent and reliable investigation by the International Criminal Court in The Hague, in order to seek truth and justice for every single war crime that has been committed over the past month.

I am heartened by the number of emails I have received recently from so many constituents speaking out against Israel’s current, ruthless, and relentless bombing of Gaza. There is overwhelming public support for the above demands, and I am extremely worried for the future should our leaders not change course.

Perhaps our paths will cross at one of the many demonstrations we are marching at or that I am speaking at. We will carry on marching for an immediate ceasefire, the release of hostages, and an end to the siege of Gaza. Today, and for the rest of their lives victims, hostages, and the families and friends of the dead are suffering unimaginable trauma and we must do what is right, and call for an immediate ceasefire to prevent any further loss of life.