The United Council of Mosques in an East Lancashire borough have urgently called on its MP to push for an immediate ceasefire to end the war in Gaza.

The Pendle division of the council met with Conservative MP Andrew Stephenson on November 11 at Ghausia Majid Mosque, in Able St, where the MP answered questions on the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas and the humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

However in a recent Parliament vote on the issue, Mr Stephenson didn't cast a vote either way.

More than 11,000 of innocent people have been killed in Gaza since the conflict flared up after Hamas militants carried out a terrorist attack in Israel, killing hundreds.

Around one million people have been forced to flee their homes due to the conflict, as Israeli forces move into Gaza as they battle with Hamas.

In a letter to Mr Stephenson, the representatives of the council said: “It saddens us that the UK Government, a signatory to the ‘Universal Declaration of Human Rights’, seen by many across the world as a voice of reason and advocate for those basic human values that we all take for granted, is content to look the other way when it comes to the actions of the Israeli government.

“As a community we are feeling the pain and suffering of our brothers and sisters, social media is awash with disturbing images.

“This is a time when we must come together as one strong voice, a united voice and remain steadfast otherwise tyranny, hatred and extremism will consume us.”

The Government has repeatedly stated it supports Israel’s right to defend itself, but it must be done in accordance with international law.

Both the Government and Labour have called for humanitarian pauses in fighting to allow aid in and for hostages to be freed, rather than an all-out ceasefire due to concerns it would allow Hamas to regroup or that the group would not respect the ceasefire.

In an SNP vote calling for a ceasefire held in the House of Commons on Wednesday, Mr Stephenson abstained from voting for or against the motion.

Mass demonstrations have taken place across the country in recent weeks calling for an end to the violence.

The group have asked Mr Stephenson to take the following action:

  • Call upon the UK government to alter its stance and demand a permanent ceasefire in Gaza and end all hostilities.
  • Call upon the UK government to substantially increase its aid budget to the Palestinian people to help support the international humanitarian mission to Gaza and West Bank.
  • Urge the UK Government to uphold international law and support the United Nations in investigations into alleged war crimes committed by the State of Israel.
  • Call upon the UK government to ban export weapons, and transfer of military technology or other equipment by any organisation based in the UK that has potential to be used to cause harm to Palestinian people even under the guise of self- defence.
  • Call upon the UK government and opposition parties to MPs to vote freely on the Palestinian issue without fear and reprisal.
  • Call upon the UK government to push for UN peacekeepers to take on peacekeeping duties and responsibility for control of access to border crossing both in Graza and the West Bank.
  • Call upon the UK Government to prioritise the two-state solution as one of its main foreign policy actions.

Andrew Stephenson has been contacted for comment.