AN AUDIENCE member confronted a panelist on BBC’s Question Time over their stance on war in Gaza and asked why value is placed on Israeli lived over Palestinian lives.

The exchange happened on Thursday’s episode between a member of the public from Lancaster and columnist for the Daily Telegraph Jill Kirby.

Fiona Bruce presented the show and was also joined by Tory MP Graham Stuart, the Minister for Energy Security and Net Zero, SNP MP Drew Hendry, shadow spokesperson for the economy, shadow leader of the House of Commons Lucy Powell, and industrialist Juergen Maier.

Questions focused on Labour’s biggest challenge in winning the General Election, economy growth, England’s rail system, and whether the UK Government should call an immediate ceasefire in Palestine.

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Audience member Sophie asked: “With nearly 30,000 dead in Gaza since October 7 – half of which are children – what else to the people there have to injure for the UK Government to call for an immediate ceasefire?”

After Stuart called for a “pause” and said that the UK must ensure Israeli action is “proportionate” as they free hostages, Hendry answered Sophie’s question: “These are nearly 30,000 innocent children, women, and men, caught up in this action at the moment. There needs to be an immediate ceasefire – did anybody see the footage today, of a hospital being attacked and a patient receiving treatment dying in that hospital during the attack.

“This is a horrendous situation. Lack of food, lack of water, lack of electricity, lack of fuel – people are suffering, they are not only suffering death and deprivation, but they are suffering the absolute terror that this is imposing on them at the moment.

The National: SNP MP Drew Hendry. Photo: UK Parliament

“The only way to get aid in and to get things sorted out is to have an immediate ceasefire – not a pause, what does a pause mean?”, Hendry asked as Kirby interrupted him to say, “the hospitals are being attacked because Hamas are using them”.

Hendry added that SNP MPs intend to bring forward a vote on Wednesday on a ceasefire in Gaza.

The audience erupted into applause. He was then asked by Kirby if he thought Hamas was using the hospitals, to which he said: “Hamas are not the ones who are dying in their droves at the moment,” and the applause continued.

As Bruce asked what should be done with Hamas, Sophie, who originally asked the question, shouted from the audience and pointed at Kirby, saying: “Your heart is breaking so much for the Israeli children that were killed on October 7, why isn’t your heart breaking for the Palestinian children that are dying? Why?

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“Why is an Israeli life more valuable than a Palestinian life? Why?”. The audience again erupted into applause in support of the interjection.

Kirby replied: “My heart breaks for everyone who dies. I don’t give lives relative values. I think we have to be horrified by what happened on October 7 because it was wantonly in cold blood that those horrible things took place. That wasn’t in war, that was a deliberate act of the most horrible terror.

“But Hamas built their terror network under the hospitals, they know that they can use their citizens in effect as bargaining counter, they have absorbed aid for many years from Israel and spent it on terror – not power or food for their people. Israel cannot tolerate Hamas remaining in charge if it is prepared to do things like it did on October 7."