Jon Ashworth MP: Latest statement on Gaza

Like my Leicester constituents I continue to look on in absolute dismay at the unfolding events in Gaza. The ongoing attacks on a besieged people are heartbreaking and this is no means of achieving peace in the region. As I condemned the kidnapping of Israelis I condemn the lethal indiscriminate bombing campaign that has led to the loss of so much innocent life including women and children. The way forward is to end this tragic cycle of violence and enter into negotiated settlements.

I have had the opportunity in the House of Commons to air my constituentsconcerns and recently I told the UK Foreign Secretary that the Israeli bombings were disproportionate and pointed out that many of my Leicester South constituents consider the blockade of Gaza to amount to collective punishment of the Palestinians.

Again I call on all governments including the UK government to put every effort into helping secure an immediate ceasefire so this tragic loss of life can be halted.

While the bombing is continuing, the blockade has resulted in a humanitarian crisis unfolding in Gaza. To bring immediate relief to those suffering in Gaza, Israel and neighboring Egypt must open the border crossings and allow free movement of people, especially those who have been severely maimed and injured.

Secondly, the international community must provide adequate funding to the aid agencies which are operating on the ground, most notably the Red Crescent and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency.

In my capacity I will continue to press our government on this issue and encourage people across Leicester to support the humanitarian fundraising initiatives. 

The international community including the UK government must immediately call for a ceasefire.


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