THE Prime Minister believes it is “wrong” to compare Iran’s attempted attack on Israel with the bombardment of Gaza over the last six months.

Rishi Sunak defended Israel in the Commons on Monday after the Iranian military attempted to bomb the country in retaliation for the attack on its consulate in Damascus, which killed 11 people, including a senior commander in the al-Quds force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps, at the start of the month.

The UK diverted Royal Air Force planes from Romania to assist an international coalition which struck down Iranian drones before they were able to land attacks on Israel on Saturday night.

Iran backs anti-Israel groups throughout the Middle East, including Hamas in Palestine, Houthis in Yemen and Hezbollah in Lebanon as well as Shia militias in Iraq.

While Israel has not claimed responsibility for the attack on the Iranian consulate in Damascus on April 1, it is widely expected to have been behind the bombing for which Iran vowed to take revenge.

Speaking after a statement on Britain’s involvement in the conflict in the Commons on Monday, Sunak’s spokesperson said it would be “wrong” to conflate Israel’s right to self-defence – something the UK has stressed despite concern about the scale of their bombardment of Gaza – and Iran’s retaliation against the country.

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Mhairi Black, the SNP’s deputy Westminster leader, said that Iran’s response was “disproportionate” but that so too was Israel’s response to Hamas’s attack on October 7.

She said: “These acts are no more than a cynical attempt to exploit the suffering, the pain and the turmoil being experienced by those people in Palestine right now.

“Whilst we rightly condemn the violent acts of Iran, so too must we condemn the violent acts of Israel.

“Listening to the interviews that he’s been giving, the Foreign Secretary is correct in his attempt to uphold the principal of proportionality. But if 100 missiles in retaliation to an isolated attack on an embassy is, correctly, constitutes as disproportionate, then so too must Israel’s 192 bombardment of Gaza.”

She said Tehran was intent on bringing about “as much instability as possible” in the Middle East – but said there was “not going to be a military solution to the conflict in the Middle East”.

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The MP called for a “political and diplomatic” response, adding: “We need de-escalating and the causes of conflict to be reviewed. Now the biggest continuing cause of conflict is the siege of Gaza, hence the need for a ceasefire.

“So can the Prime Minister outline what he is doing to ensure that the UN Security Council mandated ceasefire becomes a reality?”

The National: Rishi Sunak

Sunak (above) replied: “First of all it’s important not to try and draw any equivalence between Israel’s absolute right, indeed duty to provide security for its citizens in the face of an appalling terrorist atrocity and indeed what happened over the weekend, these things are just not remotely the same.

“More broadly though, as I’ve said repeatedly from this despatch box, urge Israel to abide by international humanitarian law, we’ve been very clear that too many civilians have been killed and we’re deeply concerned about the impact on the civilian population in Gaza and our diplomatic efforts are geared towards alleviating that suffering and I’ll continue to raise these points with prime minister Netanyahu when I speak to him.

“But as I’ve said drawing equivalence between these two things is absolutely the not right thing to do.”