QUAKERS in Cornwall have sent a plea to North Cornwall’s MP to support measures for a ceasefire in the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas in the Gaza strip.

In a letter to Scott Mann, the Conservative MP for North Cornwall, the group called on him to join ten Conservative MP’s, including fellow Cornish Conservative MPs Derek Thomas (St Ives) and George Eustice (Camborne and Redruth) in writing to the foreign secretary, Lord David Cameron, to push for a ceasefire in the ongoing conflict.

In response to the letter, the MP said that in his view, Hamas would not abide by a ceasefire, however, he acknowledged a need for humanitarian pauses to allow aid into the area, adding that in his view, Israel has to also abide by its international obligations.

Terry Faull, of the Bude Local Quaker Meeting said to the MP in the letter: “Ten of your fellow Conservative MPs have written to Foreign Secretary David Cameron to call for a ceasefire in Gaza. (Among these ten are Derek Thomas, MP for St Ives/West Cornwall and George Eustice, MP for Camborne/Redruth.

“The call for peace has long been the Quaker call and Quakers nationally and internationally support a ceasefire as the first step towards peace. Locally, we want to express respect for Derek Thomas and George Eustice calling for a ceasefire and showing their leadership in this way. We appreciate that this has meant them searching their consciences deeply and recognizing that the story we have been given by some national media voices does not tell the full truth about the major escalation of violence in this region.

“Quakers are among many of your constituents asking that you add your name to this letter in agreement with the UN asking for a planned focus on moving away from irreparable calamity. Now is the time for strong leadership for peace - peace that addresses legitimate rights and needs and enables all parties to recognize each other’s humanity. Acknowledgement that further military action will not bring peace is also needed.

“We all bear a historic responsibility to Palestine and Israel and as a people committed to peace, we call upon you as a Member of Parliament who has not yet signed this letter to recognize the costs of any delay: further loss of life, immeasurable pain and betrayal of the most basic human rights. Please contact your colleagues to add your name.

“The world is watching as Britain withholds our voice.”

In response, Scott Mann MP said: “As I have previously commented, it’s important to separate the Palestinian people from the terror organisation Hamas.

“Hamas carried out a brutal attack on the people of Israel. Hamas will not lay down their arms, they have stated their intentions and will not respect a ceasefire.

“There is a need to allow humanitarian pauses to get much-needed aid into the area. The international community is committed to preventing wider regional conflict and instability that is where our focus should be.

“Israel must also abide by its international obligations."