PAUSES to bombing in Gaza “provide more questions than they do answers”, SNP Westminster leader Stephen Flynn said as he reiterated his party’s calls for a ceasefire.

The White House announced this week that the Israeli government has agreed to halt its offensive in Gaza for four hours each day and open a second route for those looking to escape the north of the territory.

At the same time, the SNP tabled an amendment in the Commons calling for a ceasefire, which will likely be debated and voted on next week.

The party said the amendment will allow MPs to vote with their conscience on the issue.

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Speaking to BBC Radio Scotland on Friday, Flynn was asked about the pauses and whether he believes they provide a good starting point for peace negotiations.

He said: “I don’t, actually. I think that pauses provide more questions than they do answers.

“Where are people meant to go to during those four hours and how are they meant to get there?

“What happens after those four hours? Do we simply see people continuing to get bombed but this time with some more food in their belly?

“What happens to the land which Israel is asking people to move from? Are people going to be able to get that land back?”

He also said “dreadful scenes” in the West Bank, the second Palestinian territory, mean he is “sceptical as to where this might lead”.

The National: Stephen Flynn

Reports have suggested there has been a surge in violence in the West Bank following arrest raids by Israel.

With the amendment due to be put before MPs next week, Mr Flynn said he is under no illusions as to who may or may not support it.

“What we are seeking to do is at the very first opportunity available to us – which I believe will be next Wednesday – is to ensure the House of Commons does have that vote on a ceasefire,” he said.

“We’re very clear that we want a ceasefire in order to uphold international law, in order to protect civilian life and, of course, to promote peace.

“I think that that’s something which all politicians of all parties should be able to unite behind.

“I’m afraid that it’s very unlikely that Conservative members and indeed the Labour leadership will unite behind us in that regard, and I think that will be of much disappointment to the public.”

Asked if a ceasefire would allow Hamas a chance to regroup, Flynn told the Good Morning Scotland programme he agrees the terrorist group “need to be defeated”, but questioned: “What does that defeat look like in practice and how many civilians are we going to allow to be collateral damage during this process?”

He likened the current conflict to the experience of Western nations in Afghanistan, saying: “We weren’t able to defeat the Taliban and in fact they are back in control in Afghanistan.”