The three hour pause in military operations by the Israel to allow humanitarian supplies into Gaza was described as 'nothing but a temporary stay of execution' for innocent.

Rochdale’s Labour Parliamentary Candidate, Simon Danczuk made the comments as international pressure grew on Israel to stop its 12-day bombardment of Gaza after tank shells killed 42 Palestinians at a UN school.

“This is nothing more than a pause for breath from the Israeli’s and international pressure must be stepped up,” said Danczuk, who visited Palestine last November.

“The brutal reality is that the Israeli’s are allowing humanitarian agencies to deliver medical supplies to keep people alive so they can be killed. It’s not enough. Relief agencies are desperately struggling to get food and medicines into the blockaded territory but they cannot do this in a three hour window. Lives are being needlessly lost here.”

He added that many hopes were hanging on the Israeli cabinet’s consideration of a ceasefire deal being forwarded by Egypt. “If they don’t accept this then it’s likely the crisis will escalate,” said Danczuk, who admitted that he had been overwhelmed at just how many people in Rochdale had approached him about the ongoing crisis.

“People are very angry and it’s becoming a big issue in Rochdale,” he said. “To see images of children being bombed on television is creating a real sense of anger and resentment.

"Like many people in Rochdale I am sickened by Israel’s hugely disproportionate response. I want Hamas to stop firing rockets but we’re talking about an eye for an eyelash here. This is a war crime.”

Mr Danczuk also criticised Rochdale’s former Labour MP, Lorna Fitzsimmons, who, in her capacity as chief executive of Britain Israel Research and Communications Centre, has been a vociferous advocate for the Israeli invasion.

“Her comments on television are not helpful,” he said. “She sounds nothing more than a feverish warmonger.”

The Central Rochdale Councillor, Ibrar Khan, also weighed in with criticism for the former MP, accusing Fitzsimmons of acting like a “cheerleader for the mass slaughter of innocent victims”.

“She has not shown any compassion or understanding for the lives of innocent Palestinians that are being blown to bits by the Israeli military,” he said. “Remember that this was the woman who used to be president of the National Union of Students, an organisation that has continually campaigned for justice for the Palestinian people and has called for an immediate end to Israel’s blockade of Gaza.

"Remember, too, that this was the woman who was Parliamentary Private Secretary to Robin Cook, a man of integrity who resigned with great honour from the Government over Iraq. Has she not learnt anything?."

Over 700 Palestinians have died since the conflict began with thousands more injured and displaced.