FIRST Minister Humza Yousaf has written to UK political leaders urging them to support an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.

The SNP leader wrote to his counterparts across the UK calling on them to support a humanitarian corridor being opened.

It comes as senior Labour figures Sadiq Khan and Anas Sarwar voiced support for a ceasefire on Friday afternoon, a move which has not been repeated by Keir Starmer nor Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

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Sunak and Starmer were amongst the recipients of the letter, as were Mark Drakeford, the Labour First Minister of Wales, and Michelle O’Neill, the Sinn Fein First Minister (Designate) of Northern Ireland.

Ed Davey, LibDem leader, Rhun ap Lorwerth, Plaid Cymru, and Carla Denyer and Adrain Ramsey, co-leader of the UK Green Party, were also called on to support the move.

And, Scottish party leaders Douglas Ross, Sarwar, Patrick Harvie, Lorna Slater, and Alex Cole-Hamilton, were urged to unite in the ceasefire calls.

“The abhorrent terrorist attacks carried out by Hamas on 7 October must be unequivocally condemned, and I will continue to join you in doing so,” Yousaf wrote.

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“Hamas must release immediately and unconditionally all hostages and cease its missile attacks on Israel.

The killing of innocent civilians can never be justified, wherever it occurs. Israel, like every other country, has a right to protect itself from attack, but in doing so it must comply with international law.”

The FM noted that since the “tragic events of that day”, the loss of life in the conflict has “escalated”, with more than 1400 Israelis and 5700 reported to have been killed.

“More than 1.4 million Palestinians have been displaced and in excess of 600,000 people are sheltering in UN-run facilities,” he added.

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“Many British citizens are trapped in a warzone with nowhere to go, under intense daily bombardment of the Gaza strip.

“Food, water, fuel, and medicine are being restricted, with limited humanitarian supplies – nowhere near enough – being allowed in.

“The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) – the largest humanitarian agency working in Gaza – has warned that unless fuel is allowed into Gaza immediately, the agency will be forced to halt all operations as of today.

“I am, therefore, writing to ask for your support in helping to stop the staggering humanitarian disaster we are witnessing, which is set to get even worse.

The National:

“We should stand together and united in unequivocally calling on all parties to commit to an immediate ceasefire to allow a humanitarian corridor to be opened, so that lifesaving supplies can get into Gaza and innocent civilians who want to leave be given safe passage out.

“The situation in Gaza is at the point of being cataclysmic.

“All of us must do everything we can to prevent that. There must be no more dithering, or delay, together we must call for an immediate ceasefire.”

On Twitter/X, the FM added: £I have written to Party Leaders across the UK urging them to unite in our calls for an immediate ceasefire to allow a humanitarian corridor to open.

"We need @RishiSunak & @Keir_Starmer to step up and support an immediate ceasefire so no more innocent lives are lost."

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Clare Adamson, convenor of the Scottish Parliament Constitution, Europe, External Affairs and Culture Committee, and Alicia Kearns, chair of the UK Parliament Foreign Affairs Select Committee, were also sent the letter.

It comes as Starmer comes under growing pressure to call for a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas after Khan, Sarwar and Andy Burnham all broke ranks to challenge his stance on Gaza.

Party sources made clear the Labour leader was not about to strengthen his position on Friday despite the demands from the mayors in London and Greater Manchester, and the Scottish party leader.

Starmer is united with Rishi Sunak and the US in pressing for humanitarian pauses in the fighting while supporting Tel Aviv’s right to defend itself against the militants who launched a wave of bloodshed in Israel earlier this month.

However, his stance has angered MPs, including a number of frontbenchers, and prompted a raft of councillor resignations.