JOHN Swinney has called Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s response to the attack in Rafah which resulted in Palestinians being burned alive “unconscionable”.

The comments came as the First Minister attended the Scottish Poetry Library’s new exhibition Moon Tell Me Truth on Tuesday, which features a collection of poetry written by children in Gaza.

At least 35 displaced people living in tents were killed by an Israeli airstrike in Rafah, most of the victims being women and children.

Husam Zomlot, the Palestinian ambassador to the UK, labelled the attack a “massacre”.

Netanyahu called it a “terrible mistake”.

Asked about the Israeli leader's comments, Swinney said: “It’s hard to reconcile those comments with the reality of what’s happened.

“An attack on a refugee camp is just unconscionable, so I don’t accept that explanation.

“I think this is another harm and crisis that’s taking place in the crisis in Gaza.

"We have to take steps to bring the crisis to an end.”

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The First Minister has put pressure on Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer to “immediately” recognise the statehood of Palestine, adding that the SNP would force a binding vote at Westminster after the General Election if they failed to do so.

Swinney’s comments come as SNP MSP John Mason (below) claimed the International Criminal Court (ICC) is “biased against Israel”.

The National: John Mason has claimed in an email that the ICC is 'not neutral'

The ICC chief prosecutor last week announced he would seek the arrest of senior leaders of Hamas, as well as Netanyahu and one of his senior ministers for alleged war crimes.

The First Minister told The National it was “important that everyone exercises care over what is said about this particular issue”.

He continued: “The ICC has gone through a dispassionate process, and we should respect the process that they’ve undertaken."