Labour has called for an “immediate humanitarian ceasefire” in the Israel-Hamas conflict.

The move marks a major shift in the party’s stance on the war, as they tabled an amendment to the SNP’s ceasefire in Gaza motion, to be voted on in the House of Commons on Wednesday.

Sir Keir Starmer has previously called for a “ceasefire that lasts” in the Middle East, but stopped short of using the word “immediate”.

The Labour leader’s position on the conflict has long caused unease among some in his party, with dozens of Labour MPs breaking ranks over an earlier SNP motion three months ago.

In an apparent attempt to get ahead of another possible rebellion, Labour on Tuesday tabled its own lengthy amendment.

A party spokesperson said: “Our amendment calls for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire, in line with our allies.

“We need the hostages released and returned. We need the fighting to stop now. We need a massive humanitarian aid programme for Gaza. And any military action in Rafah cannot go ahead.

“There needs to be an end to violence on all sides. Israelis have the right to the security that the horror of October 7 cannot happen again.

“We want the fighting to stop now. We also have to be clear on how we prevent the violence starting up again. There will be no lasting peace without a diplomatic process that delivers a two-state solution, with a safe and secure Israel alongside a viable Palestinian state.”

The amendment calls on MPs to “support Australia, Canada and New Zealand’s calls for Hamas to release and return all hostages and for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire, which means an immediate stop to the fighting and a ceasefire that lasts and is observed by all sides”.

There have been fears Wednesday’s vote could reopen deep divides among Labour MPs on the war between Israel and Hamas militants.

A similar motion tabled by the SNP in November saw eight shadow ministers rebel to back an immediate ceasefire, with some 56 Labour members defying a three-line whip and backing an amendment to the King’s Speech.

Sir Keir, speaking at the Scottish Labour conference on Sunday, called for a “ceasefire that lasts” in the Middle East, in an echo of previous calls by UK ministers for a “sustainable ceasefire”.

Hamas’ October 7 attack on Israel killed around 1,200 people, with around 250 taken hostages.

Militants still hold around 130 hostages, and a quarter of them are believed to be dead.

The war unleashed by the atrocity has killed at least 29,100 Palestinians, according to the Hamas-run Gaza health ministry.