As with many of my constituents, I have been deeply affected by the violence and tragic loss of innocent lives in Israel and Palestine.
I unequivocally condemn the despicable actions of Hamas, who targeted innocent Israeli civilians. The hostages must be returned. These atrocities were committed by terrorists who do not seek peace and have set back the just cause of Palestinian freedom and statehood, which I have supported my whole life.
I am horrified by the scenes coming out of Gaza, where innocent people are living in terror as war rages between Israel and Hamas. It is important that there is a clear distinction between a terrorist group and the innocent civilians in Gaza, who do not deserve collective punishment.
It is clear that a humanitarian crisis is unfolding in Gaza and Israel has a duty, under international humanitarian law, to ensure access to food, water, medicines and electricity.
I am deeply concerned by reports of rising incidents of antisemitism and Islamophobia in the UK during the last week. We must never allow hatred to flourish. I know our local community and I am appealing to everyone to stand together in the pursuit of peace. We must extend an arm of friendship to neighbours and across all faiths.
We must all work towards the ultimate aim of long-lasting peace with a prosperous and sovereign Palestine alongside a safe and secure Israel.
Shabana Mahmood MP