Rishi Sunak has told MPs “we should not rush to judgement” over who was responsible for the “awful” blast at a Gaza hospital, but he added:“If we don’t treat what comes out of the Kremlin as the gospel truth, we should not do the same with Hamas.”
Speaking at Prime Ministers Questions in the Commons, Sunak said of Tuesday night’s explosion in the car-park of the al-Arabi hospital”We should not rush to judgment before we have all the facts on this awful situation.
“Every member will know that the words we say here have an impact beyond this House.
“This morning I met with the national security adviser but also the chair of the joint intelligence committee. I can tell him our intelligence services have been rapidly analysing the evidence to independently establish the facts. ”
Later Sunak was asked by Conservative MP Stephen Crabb to respond to evidence of “shocking” journalism when media organisations including Sky News and the BBC immediately reported claims by Hamas that Israel was responsible for the attacks which killed 470 people outside the hospital on Tuesday night.
The PM responded saying: “If we don’t treat what comes out of the Kremlin as the gospel truth, we should not do the same with Hamas.”
SNP Westminster leader Stephen Flynn urged the UK government to call for an “immediate ceasefire” in the conflict.
Responding Sunak said:””We believe that Israel does have a right to defend itself, to protect its people, and to act against terrorism and ensure that the awful attack that we’ve seen from Hamas cannot happen again.
“Unlike Hamas, the Israelis, including the president, have made it clear that their armed forces will operate in accordance with international law.
“And we will continue to urge the Israelis to take every precaution to avoid harming civilians.”
In response to an urgent question following PMQs, foreign secretary James Cleverly also said the UK government will not ‘rush to judgment’ over who was to blame for hospital blast.
But he added that one thing that was sure was that Israel had suffered an “unprecedented terrorist attack from a group indiffferent to human life” on October 7th.
Cleverly also said;”I have seen nothing which leads me to believe that Hamas would respect calls for a ceasefire.”
In a sombre PMQs on Wednesday, the PM and the Labour leader Keir Starmer displayed a unified stance in response to the Hamas terrorist attack on Israel, and the subsequent response from the Jewish state, which has seen 6000 bombs dropped on Gaza.
Starmer described the scenes from the Gaza hospital incident as “incredibly depressing.”
He also called for the “immediate” release of all hostages taken by Hamas.
Both leaders emphasised the need for the Commons to speak with one voice on the conflict, and to speak out against hate and division directed against Jews and Muslims in the UK
Starmer and Sunak also stressed that Israel’s response to the atrocities needed to stay within international law.
The Labour leader said the UK must do everything it could to prevent a”humanitarian catastrophe” by pressing for medicines, food, fuel and water to get into Gaza immediately, adding: “Hamas are not the Palestinian people and the Palestinian people are not Hamas.”
SNP Westminster leader Stephen Flynn urged the UK government to call for an “immediate ceasefire” in the conflict, while Conservative MP Crispin Blunt suggested military action under Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu could result in “war crimes” being committed.
A Downing Street spokesperson later declined to discuss reports that Sunak would be flying to Israel tomorrow.
At the post-PMQs briefing, No 10 said that at least seven Britons are now known to have been killed in the Hamas attack on Israel, and a further nine are missing.
The PM’s official spokesman also said Sunak does not think it is the right time for a ceasefire, as Israel is working to “recover hostages who have been seized by a terrorist organisation”.
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