AN extended ceasefire is needed between Hamas and Israeli, Ed Miliband has insisted, as his Labour colleague, Lord Prescott, denounced the scale of the bombing in Gaza as "brutally disproportionate and grossly indiscriminate".

The Labour leader urged both sides to draw back and agree a proper ceasefire"that went beyond 24 hours.

"I'm a friend of Israel and the Palestinian people," declared Mr Miliband, "but this is doing no favours to Israel, what is happening.

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"The Hamas rocket attacks are totally unjustified and appalling. The murder of the three Israeli teenagers was terrible. But this is, I'm afraid, a tragic loss of life, which I fear is just going to recruit more people to Hamas."

Meanwhile, Lord Prescott was deeply critical of Israel, saying that any other country would be made an international "pariah" if it acted in the same way.

The former Deputy Prime Minister also compared the situation in Gaza with events during the Holocaust, suggesting its history should "give Israelis a unique sense of perspective and empathy with the victims of a ghetto".

He said: "Imagine a country claiming the lives of nearly three times as many as were lost in the MH17 plane tragedy in less than three weeks. A nation which blasted a hospital, shelled and killed children from a gunboat as they played football on the beach and was responsible for 1000 deaths, at least 165 of them children, in just two weeks.

"Surely, it would be branded a pariah state, condemned by the UN, the US and the UK. The calls for regime change would be deafening."