A response from Sir Peter Bottomley MP:
The awful news many woke up to on the 7th of October was of the unprecedented attack by the Hamas terrorists on Jews in Israel.
The inexcusable terror attack must have included the intention of drawing Israeli Defence Forces into Gaza and bringing awful harm to Palestinians as well as to Israelis.
The population in Gaza of over two million live together in an area equivalent to the Isle of Wight.
On the Monday immediately following the horrific attack, I joined the Jewish and Israeli vigil near Downing Street in Whitehall.
In response to the Prime Minister's statement in the House on Monday 16th of October, I quoted a senior constituent who said:
"This is a harrowing time for Jews all over the World. There are about 16 million of us worldwide, why can't they leave us alone?"
This must not be allowed to continue.
We welcome the agreement reached overnight on the 21st of November.
Hamas must release all of the hostages immediately. This pause must be used to get the hostages out safely and to tackle the urgent and unacceptable humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza.
In the weeks following the horrific attack on the 7th of October, I have joined numerous briefing sessions with the Foreign Secretary and other senior Ministers to learn more about what has happened and what may happen next.
I have also been in close, constant contact with religious representatives from across Worthing, Arun and West Sussex.
During an Urgent Question regarding the tragic bombing of Al-Ahli Arab Hospital in Gaza, I shared the words of Worthing Islamic Society Chairman, Ali Abdul Rahman. In his letter to me, he urged for the Prime Minister to seek an immediate halt to the violence and work towards a sustainable and lasting ceasefire. A recording can be viewed on my facebook, here.
There is no excuse for a deliberate attack on a hospital. There is no reason why people should expose the hospital to an attack “accidentally”.
Concern for the ongoing conflict continues to overhang debates and work in the Houses of Parliament.
During the King's Speech Debate, last week, I reminded the Prime Minister of the ongoing horrific events in Israel and Gaza. I join constituents in calling for restraint. Lives must be saved. A recording can be viewed on my Facebook, here.
We must keep in our minds that, until they release the hostages, until they can honestly say that they're not going to repeat that kind of attack, and that they're going to recognise a State of Israel, Hamas will be a continuing problem.
It is important that we acknowledge that we can't just close our eyes and hope that an instant, lasting ceasefire will solve all of the problems.
We have to have an end to the violence. We have to find peace. War cannot be a means to an end.
There will be plenty of time in the future to discuss and resolve the terrible way that the aggressive settlements have destroyed people's lives in the West Bank and the condition of people in Gaza in the past.
Since the 7th of October, we have to recognise the bigger reality is the deliberate pogrom launched from Gaza by Hamas killers across the Israel border on innocent Israelis of all faiths and the wilfully desire to draw Israeli Defence Forces into prolonged direct combat, harming innocent civilians in Gaza and Israel alike.
Some constituents have been in contact regarding the SNP amendment to the King’s Speech calling for a ceasefire. The vote on the King’s Speech is a vote of confidence in the Government and is expected to be passed without amendment. Therefore no Conservative MPs will support an opposition amendment to the King’s Speech. Opposition parties are aware of this and will propose contentious amendments that will likely trigger public backlash, as was the case with the vote on the 15th of November. It would not have been a binding measure. The suggestion that it would have directly led to an immediate ceasefire is fictitious.
Constituents will know of my support for lasting peace in Israel and Gaza.
I have signed an Early Day Motion 1685 in Parliament as the leading Government Side MP, backed by colleagues from eight parties, backing the joint statement from 12 leading aid agencies including Oxfam, Christian Aid, CAFOD and Islamic Relief, and calling for an immediate ceasefire. The full text and list of signatures can be viewed here.
I join calls across Parliament and worldwide to protect civilians: to urgently press all parties to agree to an immediate de-escalation and cessation of hostilities, to ensure the immediate, unconditional release of the Israeli hostages and to call for an end to the total siege of Gaza.
We must seek to bring security to both the people of Israel and to the people of Gaza.
In this country, we have protection for people who are Muslim against hatred, we have protection for people who are Jewish against hatred, everyone needs protection.
I join constituents in calling for restraint.
Political leaders across the world, including our own, must back the call to help avoid the loss of any more civilian lives.
The UN General Secretary has called for this. The Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary are right to act on this.
Lives must be saved.
Constituents will join me in praying for peace across Israel and the Palestinian territories. We must seek to bring security both to the people of Israel and to the people of Gaza.
The Prime Minister will know that he has the support of colleagues across the House as he tries to achieve that.