A group of Slough councillors have penned an open letter calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.

Labour members of Slough Borough Council, including group leader Pavitar Kaur Mann and deputy Christine Hulme, all signed the statement calling on the UK government and international partners to push for a cessation of the violence.

It comes alongside growing calls for a ceasefire from several key figures in the Labour Party – although party leader Sir Keir Starmer has declined to support this, instead pushing for a “humanitarian pause.”

The Slough Labour Group statement reads: “Israel suffered a terrorist attack at the hands of Hamas – Israel has a right to defend its citizens in line with international law and we are united in our call for the immediate release of all hostages.

“However, the Palestinian people are not Hamas. There must be unimpeded, unconditional humanitarian access to Gaza, to enable vital food, water, fuel and medical supplies to meet the urgent needs of innocent civilians.

“Human rights and adherence to international law must prevail.”

The councillors called for the UK government to “step up and do more” in work towards a two-state solution – which would see a Palestinian state exist alongside the State of Israel.

Hamas, which is recognised as a terrorist organisation in the UK, attacked Israel from the Gaza Strip on October 7, killing hundreds of civilians as well as taking hostages.

Israel has responded with airstrikes and an ongoing ground offensive into the Gaza Strip.

The councillors’ statement continues: “Slough Labour Group also notes the worrying rise in both antisemitism and Islamophobic crimes in the UK.

“Human rights are not a Muslim or Jewish issue – it is a strand which unites us all. We stand by all our communities in Slough.

“Our diversity is our strength and we will continue to provide a safe and welcoming space for all, with no room for prejudice.”

Sir Keir Starmer said in an October 31 speech that while he understood calls for a one, he does not support a ceasefire.

He said: “As we speak, that would leave Hamas with the infrastructure and the capability to carry out the sort of attack we saw on October 7.”

The Labour leader added: “This is an old conflict, but it is not and never has been an issue that will be solved by the black and white simplicity of unbending conviction.

“Rather, the colour of peace – always in conflict resolution is grey. And in the coming days and months we must do everything we can to fight for it.”