Rishi Sunak ‘appalled’ by killing of three British aid workers in IDF strike

The Prime Minister went further in his call with his Israeli counterpart, not only saying he was “appalled” by the attack but also issuing wider demands on Israel’s actions in Gaza.

A Downing Street spokesperson said of the call: “The Prime Minister said far too many aid workers and ordinary civilians have lost their lives in Gaza, and the situation is increasingly intolerable.

“The UK expects to see immediate action by Israel to end restrictions on humanitarian aid, de-conflict with the UN and aid agencies, protect civilians and repair vital infrastructure like hospitals and water networks.”

Israel’s military chief said the strike as the result of a “misidentification” in complex conditions.

Announcing the results of a preliminary investigation early Wednesday, Lt Gen Herzi Halevi expressed remorse over the killings and called the event a “grave mistake”. “It shouldn’t have happened,” he said. 

Joe Biden sharply criticised Israel on Tuesday night, saying it “has not done enough” to protect civilians.

For weeks, the Foreign Office has been considering whether Israel is failing to demonstrate a commitment to international law, and whether therefore the UK should stop selling the country arms.

Calls are now emerging for intelligence-sharing to be scaled back if UK legal advice concludes that Israel is now falling short of that requirement.  

Alicia Kearns, the chairman of the foreign affairs committee, told The Telegraph: “A determination that Israel is not demonstrating a commitment to international humanitarian law would have implications for our intelligence-sharing, alongside arms sales.”

Lord Cameron described the killing of three British citizens as “completely unacceptable” in a phone call with Israel Katz, his Israeli counterpart. The Foreign Secretary said Israel must make “major changes to ensure the safety of aid workers on the ground”.

The Foreign Office took the unusual step of summoning Tzipi Hotovely, the Israeli ambassador to the UK, for a 30-minute meeting with Andrew Mitchell, the development minister. Lord Cameron has cut short his Easter break to handle the crisis.

Sir Keir Starmer, the Labour leader, condemned the deaths as “outrageous”, “unacceptable” and “horrifying”, adding: “This war must stop now. Far too many innocent people have died in this conflict.”

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