Yvonne Fovargue MP: immediate ceasefire needed amid unacceptable humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza

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​There is an urgent and unacceptable humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza.

In recent days military operations have entered parts of Rafah and negotiations on a potential truce agreement have been taking place.

​In my view, this is a profoundly concerning moment in this awful war. Ceasefire negotiations appear to be going backwards. Today the war is not just continuing but escalating.

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I oppose an offensive in Rafah, which risks catastrophic consequences. The United States has said that it would be a disaster, the European Union has said that the world must prevent it and the United Nations Security Council has called for an immediate ceasefire.

Makerfield MP Yvonne FovargueMakerfield MP Yvonne Fovargue
Makerfield MP Yvonne Fovargue

I believe Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is ignoring the warnings of Israel’s allies and partners, the United Kingdom included.

More people are now dying from medical need, thirst and hunger than from bombs and bullets.

Famine may have already started in Northern Gaza. This famine is man-made and a terrible consequence of this war.

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I want the UK Government to join calls for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire.

It had supported a UN motion calling for temporary cessation of fighting during Ramadan, but Ramadan has now ended without this taking place.

However, a sustainable ceasefire cannot be one-sided and Israel cannot be expected to stop fighting if Hamas continues with violence.

Israelis have the right to assurance that the horror of October 7 cannot happen again.

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As the International Court of Justice’s interim ruling makes clear, Israel as the occupying power has a legal obligation to ensure the provision of aid.

I believe continued restrictions on aid flows are completely unacceptable and are making the situation for civilians intolerable. It is outrageous that the volume of aid getting into Gaza fell by half between January and February.

This humanitarian emergency requires action. In the absence of a ceasefire, the UK must do its absolute utmost to get sufficient aid into Gaza.

The Government has conducted airdrops and has committed funding to a sea route, but it has also acknowledged that this cannot be a substitute for the delivery of aid through land routes.

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A ceasefire is a step on the road to a lasting peace. It will require hard negotiation and a road map for a political process.

We need a sustained effort for such a diplomatic process, working with international partners to salvage the hope of a two-state solution, which is the only way to ultimately resolve this conflict.

There is no way out of it without a safe and secure Israel alongside a sovereign and viable Palestinian state, without the hope that both Palestinians and Israelis have a path to security, justice and opportunity in lands they can call their own.

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