David Ward MP
The MP for Bradford East is again in hot water for remarks about the Middle East crisis davidward.org.uk

Controversial Liberal Democrat MP David Ward may be disciplined by his own party after making comments about the Gaza crisis on his Twitter account.

The MP for Bradford East tweeted: "The big question is - if I lived in #Gaza would I fire a rocket? - probably yes".

Although the MP had some supporters after making a number of comments about the crisis in Gaza, many were disgusted, coming on the same day that a number of airlines - most recently EasyJet - have cancelled flights to Tel Aviv because of fears over rocket attacks. Other airlines - are continuing to fly. A spokeswoman for British Airways said: "We continue to operate as normal. Safety and security are our highest priorities and we continue to monitor the situation closely."

gaza mattress
A Palestinian boy carries a mattress he recovered from his family's damaged apartment following an Israeli air strike in Gaza City AFP

This is not the first time Ward has got into hot water for making remarks about Israel. Last year he had the whip withdrawn for three months after describing Israel's treatment of Palestinians as "apartheid policies." Earlier last year he also compared Israel's treatment of Palestinians to that Jews received during the Holocaust.

A spokesman for the Liberal Democrats called Ward's latest comments "clearly vile, crass and offensive." Labour said: "At a time when all sides should be working for a ceasefire and a peaceful settlement, it defies belief that a Liberal Democrat MP should tweet something so vile and irresponsible." Grant Shapps for the Tories said "No MP should tweet what's essentially incitement to violence. Completely irresponsible."

Ward is however far from alone in being criticised for making comments about the latest conflict in the region, in which at least 600 people have died - most of them Palestinians. Even US Secretary of State John Kerry appeared to be obliquely criticising Israel's tactics when he thought he was off-air.

However Ward's comments still don't go as far as those made by George Galloway, the MP for Bradford West - like Bradford East, a constituency with a large Muslim population. Galloway has been a vocal supporter of Hamas, meeting leaders in Palestine and receiving a Palestinian passport.