Nick Clegg has urged Israel to halt its offensive and open talks with Hamas, claiming the Israeli military action "appears disproportionate".
Describing the images from Gaza as "harrowing and heartbreaking", the Deputy Prime Minister said neither side could escape blame over the ongoing violence, which has claimed the lives of over 1,600 Palestinians and 63 Israeli soldiers.
Writing in The Guardian, Mr Clegg said: "If Israel wants to secure lasting safety for its people, it must use political will, not military might, to break the cycle of violence.
"Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu must now put Israel’s long-term, strategic self-interest ahead of short-term, tactical military gains.
"It is time for the Israeli government to talk to the Hamas political leadership in Gaza."
There have been two days of quiet in Gaza. No rockets or missiles, no more destroyed houses, no more ambulance sirens screaming.
A three-year-old girl has been rescued from Gaza and brought to London for life-saving heart surgery.
A small team of NHS doctors and surgeons is travel to Gaza to set up facilities and establish how best to use specialists and equipment.