UK opposition Labour Party's foreign policy chief visits Israel

Prime Minister's Questions, in London

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's opposition Labour Party said on Sunday its foreign policy chief David Lammy was visiting Israel and the West Bank and meeting with Israeli President Isaac Herzog and the Palestinian Authority's Deputy Foreign Minister Amal Jadu.

Lammy will also meet Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen, opposition leader Yair Lapid and Leader of the Israeli Labour Party Merav Michaeli, the statement said.

Labour has been divided over its position on the Israel-Hamas conflict, with nearly a third of the party's lawmakers defying leader Keir Starmer on Wednesday to back calls for a ceasefire. Several of his policy team quit over the vote.

Starmer, like Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, the United States and the European Union, has called for "humanitarian pauses" to help aid reach Gaza rather than a ceasefire which, they say, would allow Hamas to regroup after its attack on Oct. 7.

Lammy said, if elected to government, Labour would be "tirelessly committed" to diplomacy required to help deliver "a real, not rhetorical, path to two-state solution".

Labour is far ahead in opinion polls before a national vote expected next year.

"The ultimate end to conflict we all want to see won’t happen simply by affirming that we want it to happen," Lammy said in a statement from Israel.

"Hard diplomacy is required with all governments in the region to deliver a longer pause immediately to respond to the shocking humanitarian emergency in Gaza, secure the release of hostages so cruelly taken by Hamas and as a necessary step to an enduring cessation of violence."

(Reporting by Kylie MacLellan; Editing by Andrew Heavens)