And Israel gains what from this?

British MPs yesterday lined up to give their strongest condemnation yet of Israel’s actions in Gaza, branding Ehud Olmert’s government “mass murderers” and calling for the country to face sanctions.

David Miliband, the Foreign Secretary, faced cross-party demands for Israel’s ambassador to be expelled from London and for Britain to recall its representative from Tel Aviv.

The strongest criticism in the one hour session, that followed a statement from the Foreign Secretary, came from Sir Gerald Kaufman, a former Labour minister, who is Jewish.

Directing his fury at the Israeli prime minister, foreign minister and defence minister, he said: “Olmert, (Tzipi] Livni and (Ehud] Barak are mass murderers, war criminals and bring shame on the Jewish people whose Star of David they use as a badge in Gaza.”

He suggested the British government would have taken a more strident tone if it had been Hamas who had “slaughtered 900 Israelis”.

Peter Kilfoyle, a former Labour defence minister, also accused Israel of “state-sponsored terrorism” and urged the government to ensure no arms were exported to the country.

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