ISRAEL has suffered grievously at the hands of Hamas terrorists and, quite rightly, our government has offered its full support. King Charles was right to call the attacks on innocent civilians, including babies and grandmothers, “barbaric acts of terrorism” 

The attacks are justifiably being called "Israel’s 9/11", and Israel is right to demand the elimination of the movement that has perpetrated such evil, just as the US and the UK tried to eliminate al-Qaeda after 9/11.

The American public was outraged by the terrorist attacks on the twin towers which led to ground troops going in to Afghanistan and Iraq. Eventually, Osama bin Laden was caught and al-Qaeda and its offshoots were eliminated although, more than 20 years later, it is impossible to say that the two countries have been successfully rebuilt.

Israel, after days of pounding Gaza, now seems on the brink of sending in its ground troops to capture Hamas’ leaders, many of whom are already safely in other countries.

Caught in the middle are the Palestinian civilians whose lives – if they still have them – are being destroyed along with their surroundings. Obliterating Gaza may satiate the Israeli need for revenge, but someone needs to pause and work out how it will help the future.

Israel needs, and deserves, the unconditional support of countries like the UK, and for us to be able to give it in the long term struggle for peace, Israel needs to be led by cool heads who can see the much bigger picture.