Religious leaders in Bradford from different faiths have joined together to send a message of unity as conflict between Israel and Palestine deepens.

The joint statement is attributed to Bishop of Bradford Toby Howarth, The Council for Mosques, The Bradford Jewish Community, The Bradford Sikh Community and The Bradford Hindu Council.

Violence and hatred must not be seen as a solution, the statement reads.

Faith leaders warned residents that they "must not allow a proxy conflict to develop" in Bradford after years of community building and connection.

Two of the Bradford district’s MPs have signed a letter expressing their support for Israel.

Conservative MPs Philip Davies and Robbie Moore are among more than 300 Parliamentarians to condemn the attack on Israel by terrorist group Hamas.

The letter also sends a message of solidarity to the nation and its people while supporting Israel's right to self-defence.

The letter was shared by the Conservative Friends of Israel - an organisation which supports Israel, promotes Conservatism, and aims to represent Israel's case in Parliament.

Mr Davies, who works for the Shipley constituency, said: “People have been rightly horrified and disgusted by this unjustified terrorist attack upon Israel and its people. The scenes we have witnessed have been barbaric in their nature."The people of Israel have my thoughts with them at this terrible time and they have my full support in their right to defend themselves against this appalling act of terrorism.”

The Telegraph & Argus has contacted MPs Naz Shah, Imran Hussain and Judith Cummins for a comment but did not receive a response by the time of publication.

Mr Moore said: "These barbaric attacks on the people of Israel are an act of pure evil, plain and simple. Our thoughts are with the families of those who have been killed, those currently missing, and those so savagely taken hostage by the terrorist organisation Hamas.

"I fully support Israel’s right to defend herself against Hamas and condemn any attempts to excuse or justify this terrorist organisation’s actions.

"My thoughts are with the millions of Israelis and Palestinians who have now been put in harm’s way as a result of the savage acts of Hamas, who are clearly seeking to undermine any chance for a just peace between Palestinians and Israelis in the region and destabilise inter-faith relations across all of our communities."

'Violence and hatred can never be the solution'

The joint statement from faith leaders reads: “We are horrified by the violence that we are seeing in Israel and Palestine, and the suffering of ordinary people who have lost loved ones and who fear for their own lives and for friends and family members. We hold all the victims and their loved ones in our prayers.

"We stand together here in Bradford as religious leaders to say that we must not allow a proxy conflict to develop here, undermining the good work of community and relationship building that has taken place over many years.

"We support and encourage all those working to facilitate honest and respectful conversations and to strengthen the network of good relations between our communities of which we in Bradford are so proud.

"Violence and hatred can never be the solution."