SHADOW foreign secretary David Lammy has said that Israel’s airstrike on a refugee camp in Gaza “can be legally justified”.

Israel has said that strike killed a senior Hamas commander although it is understood that more than 50 civilians were also killed.

Speaking to BBC’s Radio 4 Today programme, Lammy (below) was asked if this kind of attack was “proportionate”.

He replied: “Well look I mean Israel have said that they’ve killed important Hamas commanders.

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“And of course they’ve said and reminded the world that Hamas do rely on human shields but I woke up this morning to the heartbreaking and horrific images of a massive crater where people lay clearly under rubble.

“I think it is important for Israel to explain how this conforms with the laws of war, how does it qualify as proportionate because clearly those scenes are very troubling.

“When it comes to the ethics, it’s clear to me that it’s wrong to bomb a refugee camp but clearly if there is a military objective it can be legally justifiable. It’s for Israel to explain its actions.”

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Lammy’s comments come amid reports that the Rafah crossing has opened to allow for limited evacuation of foreign and dual nationals from Gaza to Egypt.

AFP reports that it’s not immediately clear how many people have managed to leave via Rafah but footage from the scene showed crowds of people entering the Palestinian side of the terminal.

Writing on Twitter/X, Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said: “The Rafah crossing is likely to open today for a first group of foreign nationals.

“UK teams are ready to assist British nationals as soon as they are able to leave. It’s vital that lifesaving humanitarian aid can enter Gaza as quickly as possible.”

Meanwhile, Keir Starmer (below) continues to come under pressure to back a ceasefire in Gaza – calls he has so far rejected.

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Humza Yousaf was among those to blast the Labour leader for his stance, criticising him for a “lack of moral courage and leadership”.

Asked about Starmer’s view, Lammy was asked if members of the shadow cabinet could disagree with this and keep their jobs.

He replied: “Look we’re all concerned about what’s happening in Gaza. We all want to see the violence stop.

“It’s a clear humanitarian emergency. I recognise that some of our frontbenchers also have been receiving appalling abuse at this time.

“We’re united on our concern about what’s happening in Gaza and one of our great strengths is a party is that we have many people with lived connections across communities.

“So, clearly at this stage we’ve been clear that before October 7 there was a ceasefire effectively that had gone on for many months and years.

“People were crossing the border between Gaza and Israel coming to work. Money was going into Gaza, flowing from Qatar through Israel.

“So we had a ceasefire over three weeks ago. That ceasefire was broken down because of the horrendous terrorist event – the worst in Israel’s history. We have to recognise that.

“It’s right that Israel moves to degrade Hamas’s ability to attack them again.”

Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar has been among those to call for a ceasefire as has London Mayor Sadiq Khan. 

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Pressed again on whether or not the shadow cabinet could disagree with Starmer or not, Lammy said: “Collective responsibility is hugely important and all shadow cabinet colleagues will be reflecting on that at this difficult time.

“This is dividing families. It’s upsetting people right across the country and the global community.”

He added that all shadow cabinet members “subscribed to collective responsibility” but refused to give a straight answer.

Lammy also said he was unaware of a shadow cabinet member who had “dissented” from the party’s official position.