Clegg urges end to Gaza bloodshed

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has pleaded with both sides in the Gaza conflict to end the bloodshed

The crisis in Gaza has escalated, with hundreds of people - mainly Palestinians - having been killed (AP)

First published in National News © by

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has described the shelling of a UN-run school in Gaza as evidence that the conflict between Israel and Hamas can only lead to more senseless violence.

Urging both sides to stop fighting, Mr Clegg said he was "absolutely shocked" at the killing of 15 civilians in the school, which was crowded with hundreds of Palestinians seeking refuge from Israeli shelling.

He spoke after Israel's deputy foreign minister denied knowing who was responsible for the shelling.

On a visit to a brands company in north London, Mr Clegg said: "I am absolutely shocked, as everybody is, by this terrible news, this tragic news.

"It's heartbreaking to see more innocent civilians being killed in Gaza, this time in a UN-run school.

"If the two sides of this conflict, both Hamas and Israel, need any further reminding of how tragic this conflict is, and how it will lead to nothing, it will just lead to more senseless violence, then I think we've seen that evidence overnight.

"I plead with both sides to stop, and stop now."

Fierce fighting across Gaza yesterday saw at least 119 Palestinians killed in the bloodiest day of the 17-day conflict, taking the total death toll to at least 803.

Israel has lost 32 soldiers since launching a full-scale ground war in the enclave, with two Israeli and one Thai civilian killed by rocket or mortar fire.

Mr Clegg spoke after Israeli deputy foreign minister Tzachi Hanegbi said Israel regretted all deaths in the escalating conflict, but continued to lay the blame at the door of Hamas.

Mr Hanegbi told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "We have the knowledge about 2,000 rockets shot at us, most of them from the midst of Palestinian civilian concentrations.

"Whilst we have to take precautions to defend ourselves, sometimes there are mistakes.

"I don't know who has caused this mistake - some say it is an Israeli mistake, maybe it was a Palestinian mistake, because, you know, every six rockets Hamas is shooting at us falls in Gaza, unfortunately for them.

"I don't have any knowledge about the specific bomb that fell. We are very sorry for each and everyone's life paying the price for this tragedy."

Yesterday, Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond called for a swift ceasefire between Israel and Hamas as he joined international diplomatic efforts to end the conflict in Gaza amid growing concern at the rising civilian death toll.

At a joint news conference in Jerusalem with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Mr Hammond put the blame for the latest outbreak of fighting firmly on Hamas while reiterating Britain's support for Israel's right to defend itself.

He said: "Britain has also been very clear that Israel has the right to defend itself and its citizens, but we are gravely concerned by the ongoing heavy level of civilian casualties. We want to see a ceasefire quickly agreed."

Comments (3)

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9:27am Sat 26 Jul 14

aa42john says...

Yet another opportunity for an Israeli spokesman to say the Gazans are to blame. He counts the rockets from Gaza - why does he not tell us how many have been shot by Israel over the ages?
Yet another opportunity for an Israeli spokesman to say the Gazans are to blame. He counts the rockets from Gaza - why does he not tell us how many have been shot by Israel over the ages? aa42john
  • Score: 1

3:54pm Sat 26 Jul 14

mixxer says...

aa42john wrote:
Yet another opportunity for an Israeli spokesman to say the Gazans are to blame. He counts the rockets from Gaza - why does he not tell us how many have been shot by Israel over the ages?
Exactly, and don't the Palestinians have a right to protect themselves from Israel? Where are the US, UK and EU sanctions against Israel? It'll never happen of course because mainstream politicians in the West are motivated by money and nothing else. All we can do is boycott Israeli goods until the inevitable happens and Israel goes the way of apartheid South Africa.
[quote][p][bold]aa42john[/bold] wrote: Yet another opportunity for an Israeli spokesman to say the Gazans are to blame. He counts the rockets from Gaza - why does he not tell us how many have been shot by Israel over the ages?[/p][/quote]Exactly, and don't the Palestinians have a right to protect themselves from Israel? Where are the US, UK and EU sanctions against Israel? It'll never happen of course because mainstream politicians in the West are motivated by money and nothing else. All we can do is boycott Israeli goods until the inevitable happens and Israel goes the way of apartheid South Africa. mixxer
  • Score: 1

8:03pm Sat 26 Jul 14

Shropshirelad says...

The Israelis have bought their way into almost every single British institution, our political parties are a good example They do this in order to influence the policies of those organisations and they have certainly been successful with the Tory Party, neither Cameron nor Hammond - or any other leading Tory for that matter will raise a voice against them and we can see it almost daily in the utterances of this pair in their comments on Gaza etc. Hopefully the Tory approach will lose them votes in the election, this is what will really hurt them. Our foreign policy towards Israel is dictated by the Israelis themselves and they regard the Tories as just so many willing, idiotic fools for swallowing hook, line and sinker what the Israelis say. Congratulations to Ed Milliband for speaking out against Israel on
behalf of Labour and I am not a Labourite. I support UKIP but they have a "Friends of Israel Association" and I will stay with them until they speak in defence of Israel when I will leave them in a flash.
The Israelis have bought their way into almost every single British institution, our political parties are a good example They do this in order to influence the policies of those organisations and they have certainly been successful with the Tory Party, neither Cameron nor Hammond - or any other leading Tory for that matter will raise a voice against them and we can see it almost daily in the utterances of this pair in their comments on Gaza etc. Hopefully the Tory approach will lose them votes in the election, this is what will really hurt them. Our foreign policy towards Israel is dictated by the Israelis themselves and they regard the Tories as just so many willing, idiotic fools for swallowing hook, line and sinker what the Israelis say. Congratulations to Ed Milliband for speaking out against Israel on behalf of Labour and I am not a Labourite. I support UKIP but they have a "Friends of Israel Association" and I will stay with them until they speak in defence of Israel when I will leave them in a flash. Shropshirelad
  • Score: 2
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