Months after the Hamas terrorist attacks on Israel, the deadly conflict continues: more than 100 hostages are now in their fourth month of captivity, an estimated 30,000 Palestinians have been killed, Hamas is still firing rockets at Israel, and a humanitarian disaster has engulfed Gaza.

With Israeli prime minister Netanyahu threatening a military ground offensive against a million Palestinian refugees in Rafah, this was the week when the UK parliament should have come together to speak with one voice.

What happened instead was a disgrace. When time was made to debate a motion on the issue, our political parties could and should have negotiated a form of words that commanded the full support of the House of Commons.

What I had longed for – and what colleagues from every party told me they sincerely wanted to see too – was a form of words that allowed us all to agree that the killing must stop.

A motion to express what we all believe: the suffering must be brought to an end, and there must be an international effort to bring about peace in the region.

The Liberal Democrat amendment tried to find that common ground.

Our amendment opposed any offensive on Rafah by the Israeli Defence Forces; urged Hamas to unconditionally release all remaining hostages; called out the unprecedent levels of settler violence against Palestinians in the West Bank; called for a return to plans for a two-state solution; condemned Netanyahu’s assertions that there is no future for a Palestinian state; and acknowledged that Hamas cannot hold power in any such state.

Unfortunately, our amendment wasn’t selected for debate but we indicated that we would support any other party’s chosen wording if that moved Parliament closer to calling for an immediate bilateral ceasefire.

Instead, Parliament was faced with three motions, each designed to get one over on another party.

As a result, the debate collapsed into arguments over process, MPs didn’t get to vote on anything at all, and the public were left asking how it was that Parliament had failed them when so many lives are at stake.