A WORCESTERSHIRE MP has waded into Israel's horror attacks on Gaza - and wants Number 10 to take a firmer stance on the crisis.

Sir Peter Luff, a former defence minister between 2010 and 2012, said the bombings were "brutal" and "difficult to justify".

The Mid-Worcestershire MP said the Israeli government had an "absolute right" to protect its people from rocket attacks from Hamas militants, but the reported death toll of more than 1,500 Gaza residents - including hundreds of children - was "unacceptable".

His criticism has cranked up the pressure on David Cameron, especially given Mr Luff's recent spell in the Government.

He said: "I am clear that Israel, in particular, needs to be much more careful about how it reacts to Hamas' extreme provocation.

"We have seen very intense military bombardments of residential areas of Gaza, using non-precision munitions.

"I am convinced that Israel's very sophisticated intelligence-gathering machinery and its high-tech defence industries could do much better in terms of pinpointing and targeting the attacks it is making on the Hamas war machine."

Mr Luff' said the UK must "send a message" to Israel that the recent attacks are out of order, and that it must come from the Government.

Worcester MP Robin Walker has backed him up by saying the West "should condemn" the civilian attacks.

"We are now into something which is disproportionate and Peter uses the words 'brutal', I think it's hard to argue against that," he said.

"I agree with pretty much everything he has said, it's valid criticism.

"The attacks on schools and the like must be condemned by the West.

"I actually went to the mosque in Worcester last week to speak about Kashmir and the conversation soon ended up in concern over what's been happening in Gaza.

"I've already written to the Foreign Office once but I'll be doing so a second time to pass on the concerns I've had from people in Worcester."

Health officials in Gaza say 1,800 Palestinians, most of them civilians, have been killed and more than 9,000 injured since the conflict began nearly four weeks ago.

A seven-hour "humanitarian window" announced by Israel came into effect in parts of Gaza yesterday, halting the bloodshed temporarily.

The Israeli announcement came after a attack near a UN-run school in Gaza on Sunday, killing at least 10 people, sparked international outrage.