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More aid for Gaza and fewer weapons for Israel, MPs demand

THE government was told to give more aid to Gaza and fewer weapons to Israel today as political patience with the Netanyahu regime started to run out across the Commons.

Left MPs used a statement on the humanitarian crisis in Gaza to warn that pleading with Israel to behave better had failed and it was time to take action to save lives.

Former shadow justice secretary Richard Burgon told ministers that officials signing off on arms transfers to Israel were “aiding and abetting war crimes in Gaza.”

And Apsana Begum, Labour MP for Poplar and Limehouse, insisted it was time for “concrete action starting with stopping arms sales to Israel.”

She argued that it was already “past the point of averting a famine in Gaza” and that “whatever we do now is too late.”

Workers Party leader George Galloway pointed out that despite the “bloody, putrid sea of misery” in Gaza, both front benches “continue to support the supply of British arms to the country that has done this.”

Earlier Mr Galloway used his first intervention in Prime Minister’s Questions since returning to the Commons to challenge Rishi Sunak over the slaughter in Gaza and what he would do if his advice to Netanyahu to show restraint was “not taken and unrestricted war is unleashed.”

Sunak responded with bland calls for restraint by everyone, condemnation of Iran and demands that more aid be allowed into Gaza.

Labour MP Imran Hussein later highlighted that despite all the ministerial rhetoric “bombs are still falling, children are still starving and civilians are still dying.”

And former shadow chancellor John McDonnell drew attention to the increasing assaults on Palestinians by armed settlers on the West Bank, acting with the connivance of the Israeli military.

Even hapless Labour shadow foreign secretary David Lammy slammed Israel for “not meeting its commitments” on humanitarian aid and renewed the demand for an “immediate ceasefire now” in Gaza.

He did not, however, call for an end to arms supplies for Israel.

Some Tory backbenchers voiced growing concerns over Israeli conduct, and joined Labour MPs in pressing the government to resume funding of refugee agency UNRWA, cut off after apparently baseless Israeli allegations about links with Hamas.

Junior Foreign Office minister David Rutley was left to hold the line, which entailed urging Israel to allow more aid into besieged Gaza and pledging that UNRWA funding would be reviewed when an investigation into the agency reported shortly.


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