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Ed Miliband has accused the Prime Minister of being in the “wrong place” on the Gaza conflict.
The death toll since fighting broke out three weeks ago has now risen to more than 1,500 Palestinians and a further 58 Israelis.
The Labour leader said David Cameron should have condemned the Israeli incursion as soon as it began.
“He’s in the wrong place on this,” he told an LBC phone-in. "…I think he should have said from the outset that this incursion by Israel into Gaza was not going to solve the problem.”
His comments come after a 72-hour ceasefire between Hamas and Israel lasted just a few hours before hostilities were resumed, while an Israeli soldier has reportedly been captured during an operation to destroy a so-called ‘terror tunnel’.
The Foreign Secretary described the collapse of the truce as “extremely depressing”.
Philip Hammond condemned the resumption of hostilities, telling reporters: “We’ve always got to keep trying, but it is obviously extremely depressing that this ceasefire that we’ve all worked so hard to get broke down so quickly. And if the reports that Hamas broke the ceasefire are correct, then that is very serious indeed, as is the kidnapping of the Israeli soldier.”
Mr Hammond also said the Foreign Office had “no information” that backed up reports that the Israeli soldier held dual British nationality, but confirmed the Government was “looking into” the issue.
The development follows signs of increasing disquiet from the Conservative backbenches at the Government's approach to challenging Israel, with Margot James, PPS to Leader of the House William Hague, describing Israeli attacks on Gaza as "wholly disproportionate".
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