UK Labour Party's shadow foreign sec Lammy visits Israel, West Bank
The UK's opposition Labour Party said on Sunday its shadow foreign secretary David Lammy was visiting Israel and the occupied West Bank and meeting with Israeli President Isaac Herzog and the Palestinian Authority's Deputy Foreign Minister Amal Jadu.
Lammy will also meet Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen, opposition leader Yair Lapid and leader of the Israeli Labor Party Merav Michaeli, the statement said.
Britain's Labour Party has been divided over its position on the Gaza war, with nearly a third of the party's lawmakers defying leader Keir Starmer on Wednesday to back calls for a ceasefire. Several of his frontbench team quit over the vote.
Starmer, like Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, the United States and the European Union, has called for "humanitarian pauses" to help aid reach Gaza rather than a ceasefire which, they maintain, would allow Hamas to regroup after its surprise 7 October attack.
Lammy said, if elected to government, Labour would be "tirelessly committed" to diplomacy required to help deliver "a real, not rhetorical, path to two-state solution".
Labour is far ahead in opinion polls before a general election expected next year.
"The ultimate end to conflict we all want to see won’t happen simply by affirming that we want it to happen," Lammy said in a statement from Israel.
"Hard diplomacy is required with all governments in the region to deliver a longer pause immediately to respond to the shocking humanitarian emergency in Gaza, secure the release of hostages so cruelly taken by Hamas and as a necessary step to an enduring cessation of violence."