Commenting on the latest situation in Gaza and Israel, following reports that at least 15 people have been killed and more than 200 injured in the shelling of a United Nations-run school used as a shelter in Gaza, First Minister Alex Salmond said:
“It is vital that the situation is brought under control and deescalated as soon as possible, to prevent any more loss of innocent civilian lives, such as those in this latest incident.
“That involves restraint on both sides – the rocket attacks on Israel should stop, as should the Israeli shelling of Gaza, which has been heavily disproportionate. Israel has a right to seek security for its own citizens, but that should not involve the shelling of civilian areas.
“I am glad to see that the UK Government have now become active on this issue, with the Foreign Secretary’s visit to meet with both Israeli and Palestinian leaders. However, that action will only be effective if it involves frank dialogue, and as such the Foreign Secretary’s view that ‘Western opinion is becoming more and more concerned and less and less sympathetic to Israel’ is one that should be heeded by the Israeli leadership.
“As a Government we continue to add our voice to those in the international community calling for an immediate, longer term ceasefire to put an end to the violence that is causing so many civilian deaths and injuries. We also believe that the continued blockade of Gaza is exacerbating the suffering experienced by the civilian population people there and should come to an end.”