I was horrified to wake up on October 7 to the awful terrorist attacks in Israel, which we have condemned unequivocally. I’ve also been heartbroken and dismayed to see the scenes of violence in Israel and Palestine over the past few weeks.

It is hard to watch the news right now. We continue to hear reports of the brutal terrorism of Hamas, which still holds more than 200 Israelis hostage in Gaza – and now we have a situation in Gaza which is frankly devastating. The 2.2 million residents of the Gaza Strip, over half of whom are children, are hurtling towards a humanitarian catastrophe. It is horrifying.

The Lib Dems and I think it is vital that essential supplies like food, water and medicine get to innocent Palestinian civilians in Gaza, in line with international law. It is also of the utmost importance that the hostages – among whose number includes children as young as nine months old – are immediately and unconditionally released.

I support Israel’s right to protect its citizens and target these brutal terrorists Hamas, in line with international law. But innocent Palestinians must not pay the price for the atrocities of Hamas – and that’s sadly what is happening in Gaza right now. The world has a duty to prevent needless civilian deaths.

The Lib Dems declared our support for a temporary humanitarian ceasefire, in order to bring about a pause in hostilities. There needs to be the space for an intense period of diplomacy, to get humanitarian aid into Gaza, and to provide an opportunity to realise the release of the hostages.

In the House of Commons last week, the leader of the Lib Dems, Ed Davey, asked the Prime Minister to support our call. We were not alone when we called for a humanitarian ceasefire. Others, like the Archbishop of Canterbury, had already done so and in the days since, there has been some movement within the international community and within the UK.

Both the Conservative Government and the Labour Party now call for what they term a “humanitarian pause” – but that’s not good enough. This issue matters to so many in the UK, that’s clear from the march on Saturday in London and talking to residents in Woking.

The people of Israel and Palestine have a right to live free from fear. The thing that will ultimately give them the security which they deserve – the security which will prevent the sort of scenes which we have seen over the past days – is to finally bring about the two-state solution, and a lasting peace.

The Lib Dems are the party of internationalism and international law. 

I personally joined the Lib Dems when the party was opposing the illegal invasion of Iraq back in 2003, we have proud record on international issues. We have long advocated for a two-state solution, and we will continue to do so.