RISHI Sunak has been urged to open Britain’s doors to refugees from Gaza as the war between Hamas and Israel rages on.

The Prime Minister addressed a virtually silent Commons chamber on Wednesday in which politicians of all stripes condemned Hamas’s attacks on Israel while calling for international law to be followed for the lives of civilians on both sides to be protected.

Stephen Flynn, the SNP’s Westminster leader asked Sunak whether he would call for an immediate ceasefire and later added: “My ask for a ceasefire was done with all sincerity, sincerity to protect civilians, but also to ensure that we have the safe creation of humanitarian corridors, humanitarian corridors which will allow for food, for water and for vital medicines to get in to Gaza, but also for innocent civilians caught up in this terrible conflict to flee.

Sunak replied that Israel had “the right to defend itself” against Hamas and would not commit to calls for a ceasefire but restated his desire to see the country fight in accordance with international law.

Flynn added: “In respect of those who wish to flee, can I ask the Prime Minister what early consideration, if any, his Government has given to the creation of a refugee resettlement scheme akin to that previously put in place for Syrian nationals, Afghani nationals and, of course, Ukrainian nationals?”

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The Prime Minister responded: “I’m proud that we are already one of the most significant contributors to the United Nations’ efforts to support Palestinian refugees and our funding supports around 5.8 million refugees annually and on Monday we announced that a significant increase on our funding of aid to the region, including to the UN, to support refugees.

“With regard to humanitarian aid, as I said before, we are already working through pre-emptively moving aid and relief teams to the region but critically, the most important thing is to open up access for that aid to get into Gaza which is why our conversations with the Egyptians and others are so critical.

“We continue to work closely with allies to find every way to get that aid to the people who need it as quickly as possible.”

The Prime Minister's spokesperson later confirmed that nine British nationals in Israel remain missing, some of whom are feared dead. 

At least seven have been killed after fighting broke out, among them 13-year-old Yahel Sharabi. 

Labour leader Keir Starmer used his questions in the Commons to back Israel's right to self-defence while also calling for medicines, food, fuel and water to be allowed into Gaza. 

He said: "Israel has a right, a duty to defend itself from Hamas, keep its people safe and bring hostages home but isn’t it clear that if Hamas had a single concern for human life, a single concern for the safety of the Palestinian people, that they would never have taken these hostages, and they should release them immediately?”

Starmer later added: "International law must always be followed, Hamas are not the Palestinian people and the Palestinian people are not Hamas.

"Does [the Prime Minister] agree that medicines, food, fuel and water must get into Gaza immediately? This is an urgent situation and innocent Palestinians need to know that the world is not just simply watching but acting to prevent a humanitarian catastrophe.”

Sunak said what was unfolding in Gaza was an "acute humanitarian crisis [...] to which we must respond” adding: “It’s right we support the Palestinian people because they are victims of Hamas too.”

Speaking to reporters afterwards, neither Starmer nor Sunak's spokespeople would be drawn on whether they believed Israel was acting within the bounds of international law.