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Starmer urges Netanyahu to halt attacks on Rafah

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said the scenes from the southern Gaza city were ‘horrifying’.

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Palestinians look at the destruction after an Israeli strike

Benjamin Netanyahu’s offensive against Rafah must stop, Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has said.

Palestinian medics said Israeli air strikes killed at least 35 people on Sunday and hit tents for refugees who had fled to the city in southern Gaza.

Sir Keir, who has faced pressure within Labour to take a harder stance on Israel’s actions in Gaza, said the scenes were “horrifying”.

Asked what he would tell Israeli premier Benjamin Netanyahu if he were prime minister, the Labour leader said: “Stop.

“Those scenes, those reports, are horrifying and what makes it worse was this was a safe zone with women and children and families that have already fled a number of times.

“It’s horrifying to see that. I’ve been saying for some time the Rafah offensive should not take place.”

He added: “I was shocked by what I saw overnight, I think any human being would be shocked by what they saw. It’s got to stop.”

Israel said it hit a Hamas installation and killed two senior militants.

It said it was investigating reports that civilians were harmed.

French President Emmanuel Macron said he was “outraged” by the Israeli strikes “that have killed many displaced persons”.

“These operations must stop. There are no safe areas in Rafah for Palestinian civilians,” he said.

“I call for full respect for international law and an immediate ceasefire.”

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