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Politics live: Labour shifts tone on Israel – as MP suggests voters should spoil ballots in

Labour’s shadow health secretary Wes Streeting has signalled a shift in the party’s tone on Israel’s bombardment of Gaza, saying that “objectively” the country has gone too far – and suggesting it may have broken international law.

Speaking to Kay Burley, Mr Streeting points to “the disproportionate loss of civilian life” as a result of Israel’s military action.

“What we’ve seen are actions that go beyond reasonable self-defence and call into question whether Israel has broken international law,” he says.

The Hamas-run Gaza health ministry says 28,985 have been killed since 7 October, when around 1,200 people were killed in Israel by Hamas, with more than 240 people were taken hostage.

Mr Streeting repeats calls for the hostages to be released.

He says a potential “escalation” of the conflict heading into Rafah on the Egyptian border would be “intolerable” and “unacceptable”.

“We can’t have Palestinians pushed into the desert – something Egypt is now preparing for,” he adds.

A mooted deadline of 10 March for hostages to be released before Israel moves into Rafah could provide a path forward for a negotiated solution, Mr Streeting adds.

This deadline suggestion – made by a member of Israel’s war cabinet – has been contradicted by reporting in the Times of Israel this morning, which suggested there is still another six to eight weeks of intense fighting expected.

Mr Streeting’s comments come after Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said “fighting must stop now” on Sunday – though a party source denied this was a change in position from previous calls for a lasting and sustainable ceasefire.

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