Commenting on the ongoing violence in Gaza and Israel, Humza Yousaf, the Scottish Government’s Minister for External Affairs and International Development, said:
“The priority is for an immediate and effective ceasefire and a de-escalation of hostilities in the region, and the Scottish Government supports all ongoing international diplomatic efforts to achieve a ceasefire.
“The dangers of a further escalation in this conflict are obvious and must be avoided. The killing of innocent civilians, be they Palestinian or Israeli, is to be utterly condemned and we urge both sides to exercise restraint. The rocket attacks on Israel are wrong and should stop, as should the Israeli bombardment on Gaza which has been heavily disproportionate in terms of the civilian loss of life, and have been rightly condemned as such by many in the international community.
“The voice of the UK Government in making these points and in helping to achieve a lasting ceasefire must be heard loud and clear, and I aim to speak to counterparts at the Foreign Office to stress the importance of their role in achieving these aims.
“If a ceasefire is not achieved quickly, the humanitarian crisis in Gaza threatens to worsen. We continue to join with voices in the international community in calling for the illegal blockade of Gaza to be lifted.”