A Bolton MP has urged the government to stop “carnage” in Gaza by pressing Israel not to attack what should have been a “safe zone.”

Yasmin Qureshi, MP for Bolton South East, made the intervention in parliament earlier this week ahead of the Israeli army’s planned assault on the Palestinian city of Rafeh in southern Gaza.

She warned that the ground invasion could lead to devastating consequences for civilians who have fled to the city.

Ms Qureshi said: “Israel has forced more than one million Palestinians to flee to Rafah, claiming it to be a ‘safe zone.’ 

“Yet for months, the Israeli military has been bombing Palestinians there. And according to the UN, killing mostly women and children. 

The Bolton News: The destruction after an Israeli air strike on RafahThe destruction after an Israeli air strike on Rafah (Image: Mohammad Jahjouh/AP)

“Now, they are planning a ground invasion that will lead to carnage.”

Ms Qureshi told parliament that US President Joe Biden could stop this with “one phone call” and asked if the British government would press him to do so.

This comes amid the ongoing devastation of the conflict in Gaza and southern Israel since last October that has proven to have major reverberations on the streets of Bolton.

Since last autumn the town centre has hosted a series of mass rallies in support of a ceasefire and an independent state of Palestine, some of them attracting thousands of attendees.

In October last year, five Bolton Labour councillors signed an “unprecedented” letter calling on their party to back a ceasefire in Gaza.

The following November, Ms Qureshi resigned from Labour’s front bench to call for an immediate ceasefire.

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In February this year, Conservative MP for Bolton North Mark Logan said that he believed Israel had “gone too far” and added his voice to those calling for a ceasefire.

In response to Ms Qureshi’s question this week, development minister Andrew Mitchell MP said the government was already pressing the Israelis not to launch an all out assault.

Mr Mitchell said: “Well I think President Biden has been very heavily engaged in this matter and she knows both the American and British governments have pressed Israel not to launch an all-out assault on Rafah for the reasons that she set out.

“And the shadow foreign secretary rightly said that the current deal on the table, he hopes Hamas will accept and I agree with it.”