Ed Miliband MP, Leader of the Labour Party, in a speech to Labour’s National Policy Forum, said today:
I also want to say something about the unfolding events in Gaza.
We are all shocked and horrified by the escalation of violence following the horrific abduction and killing of three Israeli teenagers and subsequently a Palestinian.
I have seen for myself the fear in Israel from the unjustified and appalling rocket attacks launched by Hamas from Gaza.
I defend Israel’s right to defend itself against rocket attacks.
But I cannot explain, justify or defend the horrifying deaths of hundreds of Palestinians, including children and innocent civilians.
And as a party we oppose the further escalation of violence we have seen with Israel’s invasion of Gaza.
Because we have been here before and we know what happens next.
More loss of life, more Palestinian suffering, more hatred and more recruits to the ranks of terrorist groups like Hamas.
This escalation will serve no lasting purpose and will do nothing to win Israel friends.
There can be no military solution to this conflict.
The only solution is two states living alongside each other in peace and security.
So the violence must stop.
And a political way forward must be found.
And I promise you Labour will always play its part in seeking to make that happen.
Because there can be neither security for Israel nor dignity for the Palestinian people without it.
Now let us turn to our business here today.