THE UK will not stop sending arms to Israel amid an unfolding military incursion into Rafah in southern Gaza, the Prime Minister has insisted.

Rishi Sunak was challenged on the issue at Prime Minister’s Questions (PMQs) on Wednesday by Stephen Flynn, the SNP’s leader at Westminster.

It came after the US took the decision to block a shipment of some 3500 bombs to Israel amid concerns about the impact of a major ground operation in southern Gaza.

READ MORE: 'We don’t have a boycott': Labour back selling arms to Israel

More than 1.2 million Palestinians displaced by Israeli actions in Gaza are currently sheltering in the city of Rafah, and UN secretary-general António Guterres has said an assault on the area would be “a strategic mistake, a political calamity and a humanitarian nightmare”.

Nevertheless, Israel has begun bombing the city, seized the Rafah border crossing, and the nation’s defence minister has said military operations will continue until Hamas is eliminated from the “entire Gaza strip”.

Flynn raised the issue at PMQs, and asked if the UK would follow the Americans’ lead and block arms shipments.

Flynn said: “As we await the imminent Israeli incursion into Rafah, where 1.2 million people are sheltering, including 600,000 children, it has been reported that the United States has paused an arms shipment to Israel.

“The UK will now follow suit, won't it?”

Responding, Sunak said the “UK Government doesn't itself directly provide arms or ship arms to Israel”.

While this is true, the Tory government does have the ability to prevent any and all arms exports from UK shores.

Sunak further said that his Government is “deeply concerned about a full military incursion of Rafah given the devastating humanitarian impact”.

Flynn responded: “Let’s be clear. The confidence that Israel has shown in its military ambitions in Rafah stems from the silence which has been shown from its allies on the frontbenches in this place and indeed elsewhere across the world.

“Now we know, we all know, that UK arms and tech has supported Israel's activities in Gaza and will be used in any attack on Rafah.

“Knowing that and the devastation which is going to occur, surely the time has come to end our complicity and to halt our own sales to Israel.”

READ MORE: UK civil servants ask to 'immediately' stop working on Israel arms exports

Sunak responded: “Of course, we take our defence export responsibilities extremely seriously, and that's why we operate one of the most robust licensing control regimes anywhere in the world.

“We periodically review advice on Israel's commitment to international humanitarian law, and ministers always act in accordance with that advice and that is crystal clear for the House to understand.

“Our position with regard to export licences following the most recent assessment is unchanged.”

Previously, court documents revealed that the Tory ministers David Cameron and Kemi Badenoch had approved UK arms exports to Israel just days after the Israeli military killed three British aid workers.

In April, more than 600 legal experts, including former Supreme Court president Brenda Hale, said the worsening situation in Gaza and the International Court of Justice’s conclusion that there is a “plausible risk of genocide” obliges the UK to suspend arms sales to the country.