I imagine that you, like me, have been utterly horrified by the situation in Israel and Gaza.

The terror attacks by Hamas on October 7 shocked and appalled.

Many Israeli families have spent every day since wondering if a family member taken hostage is still alive. Their suffering is very real and their pain unimaginable.

However, Israel’s response over the following days and weeks has been wholly unjustifiable.

At the time of writing this column, the death toll in Gaza caused by Israel’s retaliatory military campaign has passed 8300, including almost 3,500 children. Israel’s response is not targeting Hamas or an act of defence.

It is the collective punishment of innocent Palestinians for the actions of Hamas.

The indiscriminate nature of Israel’s missile warfare has not just claimed the lives of ordinary civilians.

At least 31 journalists are among the dead, and the United Nations Relief and Works Agency reports that 64 of its staff have been killed including one who lost his life on Monday along with his wife and eight children.

Gaza has also been under siege, with food, water and fuel supplies cut off by Israel – a clear violation of international law.

More than a million people have been forcibly displaced and many of them will have no homes left to return to.

None of this can be rationalised. The bloodshed must end. Urgent relief must be allowed to make its way into Gaza through the safe creation of humanitarian corridors.

I’ve been frustrated and angered by the failure of the main UK political parties to show leadership when it is so desperately needed. Rishi Sunak has given unqualified support to Israel throughout, looking the other way while Gaza is reduced to rubble.

Further inflaming domestic tensions, his home secretary Suella Braverman put her characteristically authoritarian spin on public outcry by condemning rallies calling for a ceasefire as “hate marches”.

Despite polling showing that the vast majority of people back an immediate ceasefire, it is bewildering that Keir Starmer has failed to do the right thing and back one.

The Labour leadership has been so lacking on this issue that it now faces serious rebellion from within the party.

The loss of innocent lives in both Israel and Gaza is catastrophic.

There can be no justification for it to continue. The protection of civilians from military action must be a priority. So too must be the upholding of the Geneva Conventions.

Through these difficult times, I will do all I can to use my voice as one for peace, be that in the House of Commons or addressing the crowds at a recent rally in George Square.

The home secretary can spin and smear my support for a ceasefire all she likes, but this is a pivotal moment in history and one I intend to stand on the right side of.

Albert Einstein once said that peace cannot be kept by force, and that it can only be achieved by understanding.

There is no military solution to this conflict and a ceasefire is needed urgently as the first step towards a peaceful solution, ending the bloodshed and devastation.