Hague: 'Bold leadership' needed to end Gaza violence

Foreign Secretary William Hague has called for "bold leadership" from both Israel and the Palestinians to end the violence in the region.

A Palestinian protester argues with an Israeli Army soldier. Credit: REUTERS/Abed Omar Qusini

He said: "This is a time for bold leadership. Both sides should take the necessary steps towards a lasting peace and to address the underlying causes of the conflict and instability in Gaza."

He added that a "fundamental transformation" of the situation was needed including the restoration of Palestinian Authority control, the opening up of legitimate movement and access and a permanent end to the unacceptable threat of rocket attacks and other forms of violence from Gaza against Israel.

"It is also a stark reminder of the need to make progress toward a permanent peace, based on the two-state solution," he said. "However difficult that looks at this time, there is no alternative that can deliver peace and security for both Israelis and Palestinians."


Israel launches ground offensive in Gaza as air strikes continue

Israel has launched a ground offensive in Gaza with residents reporting heavy shelling in the area. Palestinian health officials say 27 Palestinians, including a baby, two children and a 70-year-old woman, have been killed since Israel sent ground forces into the densely-populated strip of 1.8 million Palestinians.