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Dear Foreign Secretary,

Many of my constituents have written to me in horror at the airstrikes on people in Rafah including on the area designated as a humanitarian space by the IDF. This assault on the final refuge in Gaza has been planned for months. Labour has been clear it should not go ahead.

I have wanted to see the Government work to prevent this offensive by making clear to Israel that it would work alongside the US and assess its arms exports to Israel. The suspension of UK sales of arms and components to Israel must be addressed with the offensive in Rafah now underway. The UK Government has said that it would not support a Rafah offensive without a credible plan to protect civilians, but it has not taken action regarding arms sales to Israel.

You will be aware I have supported and voted in Parliament for an immediate ceasefire, the unimpeded flow of aid into Gaza, and a political solution to this conflict. Recently I asked the Prime Minister about the restoration of funding to UNRWA and wrote to the Deputy Foreign Secretary on the same issue. I now feel the need to write again to call for urgent action.

I urge you to call for an immediate ceasefire and an end to the indiscriminate bombardment of homes, hospitals, and other civilian objects and infrastructure. Additionally, it is vital that you call for the protection of Palestinian civilians whether they are staying in place or displaced and that displaced persons are guaranteed safe return to their homes.

All parties must comply with international humanitarian and human rights law. As Foreign Secretary, I ask that you condemn in the strongest terms attacks by any actor on protected persons and objects, including healthcare personnel and facilities, and support accountability for perpetrators through independent mechanisms such as the International Criminal Court.

It is imperative that aid can get into Gaza, but it is still being blocked. I ask that you ensure safe and unimpeded entry of electricity, fuel, water, food, and other humanitarian necessities as well as medical personnel into Gaza. Your intervention cannot come soon enough.

Yours sincerely,

Seema Malhotra MP
Member of Parliament for Feltham and Heston

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