SCOTTISH Labour's Anas Sarwar has defied the central UK leadership and restated his calls for arms exports to Israel to end – just one day after one of his own MPs refused to back him.

On Sunday, shadow Scotland Office minister Michael Shanks repeatedly declined to support his nominal leader in calls for weapons sales to Israel to end.

Shanks insisted it was "right" not to take a position without having seen UK Government legal advice on the issue – the position taken by the UK Labour leadership.

However, speaking to delegates at the Scottish Trades Union annual congress in Dundee on Monday, Sarwar said it was "clear" that Israel was breaching international law.

“To me, it is clear that the actions of the Israeli forces do not comply with international humanitarian law and therefore the sales of arms to Israel should stop,” Sarwar (below) said.

The National:

“We need the violence to end right now.”

Speaking to journalists after after the speech, Sarwar would not confirm nor deny whether he would support the continuation of arms sales to Israel if UK Government lawyers found there was no breach of international humanitarian law.

READ MORE: Israel launches overnight strikes on Gaza amid fears of wider regional war

The UK Labour Party's position is that if the legal advice says arms exports should stop, then they should.

However, in yet another blow to Labour leader Keir Starmer, Sarwar's speech on Monday afternoon marks a clear difference between Scottish and UK Labour policy.

The Scottish Labour leader condemned the attack by Hamas on October 7, adding that it was “the largest loss of Jewish life in a single day since the Holocaust”.

The conflict between Israel and Hamas started on October 7, when Hamas killed 1200 Israelis, mostly civilians, in a surprise attack and incursion into southern Israel.

Now, more than one million Palestinians are said to be on the brink of starvation, and the United Nations has said the surge of aid is not being felt in Gaza because of persistent distribution difficulties.

Sarwar continued: “The scenes of death and destruction we witnessed on that day and the attacks on Gaza every day since have left us heartbroken.

READ MORE: International Muslim group distances itself from Scottish Labour MP

“The people of Israel and Palestine desperately deserve peace, security and freedom.

“But right now, we have a terror organisation, Hamas, who have no interest in peace and Netanyahu’s [below] far right Israeli government that isn’t interested in peace either.”

The National: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Ohad Zwigenberg/AP)

Sarwar added that “the rhetoric and actions of Netanyahu’s government undermine the cause of peace”.

He pointed to humanitarian supplies not being allowed to enter Gaza, as well as the destruction of hospitals and schools and loss of innocent life.

Israeli bombardments and ground offensives in Gaza have killed more than 33,700 Palestinians and wounded over 76,200, the Gaza Health Ministry has said.