PATRICK Harvie has said that it “shouldn’t take the killing of a small number of UK aid workers” to “finally” get people talking about an Israel arms embargo.

“It’s horrific as a single incident,” he told The National in an exclusive interview alongside fellow Scottish Greens co-leader Lorna Slater.

‘It's only one of so many horrific stories that have come out of Gaza and wider Palestine over the past months and, in fact, over the many years of a brutal occupation.”

Three Brits were among the seven World Central Kitchen (WCK) aid workers who died in the horrific Israeli strikes – John Chapman, 57, James “Jim” Henderson, 33, and James Kirby, 47.

Their killings prompted a rebuke from Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who told his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu he was “appalled” at what happened, and that the situation in Gaza is “increasingly intolerable”.

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WCK founder Jose Andres claimed the Israeli military knew of his aid workers’ movements and targeted them “systematically, car by car”.

It has led to increased calls for the UK Government to commit to ending the sale of arms to Israel.

Civil servants overseeing the arms exports have also requested to "cease work immediately" over fears they could be complicit in war crimes in Gaza.

But the UK Government – as well as the Labour Party – have so far refused to commit to end exports, with Foreign Secretary David Cameron saying he will “carefully review” an Israeli report into the attack.

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“I would certainly support those civil servants and the unions representing them to simply not carry out actions that they're concerned are in violation of international humanitarian law,” the Scottish Green co-leader said.

And asked what he thinks it will take for the UK Government to finally end arms sales to Israel, Harvie responded: “It may well be that the current UK Government will only be persuaded to act if they are persuaded that they themselves will be held legally accountable. If they are arming a state that is plausibly accused of genocide.

“If that's what it takes for the UK Government to change its approach then the most important thing is achieving that change.

“And I say with a bit of dismay that I think even if the UK Government had changed already and you had a Starmer government, I'm not sure that the fundamental approach would change or they would be showing any more political courage.”

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He added: “And that's why so many other fronts, whether that's trade union action, whether it's non violent direct action, whether it's the pressure from the legal experts, all of these fronts are necessary if we're going to see that change, of course.”

Harvie said that the whole world needs to “act with urgency”.

“I think we need to welcome the fact that it is being talked about seriously and add pressure to try and make sure that happens. Not just the arms embargo as one country but to leverage as much international pressure as possible for the recognition of the state of Palestine.”

Harvie added: “Because that fundamentally needs to change if we're going to see any resolution and any hope of a peaceful path to statehood for Palestine.”