The UK is “shocked by the bloodshed” but continues to stand by “Israel’s right to defend its security”, Rishi Sunak has said, six months on from the start of the Israel-Hamas war.

Commemorating the victims of 7 October, the prime minister called Hamas’s strike as “the most appalling attack” and “the worst loss of Jewish life since the Second World War”.

More than 1,100 people were killed after Hamas militants breached the barrier between Gaza and Israel, with 250 people captured as hostages, approximately 130 of whom remain in captivity.

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It triggered Israel’s ongoing military action in the Gaza Strip, which has resulted in the deaths of more than 33,000 Palestinians, the territory’s Hamas-run health authority has said, as well as mass displacement of the population and an ongoing humanitarian crisis.

Mr Sunak said: “Six months later, Israeli wounds are still unhealed. Families still mourn and hostages are still held by Hamas.

“We continue to stand by Israel’s right to defeat the threat from Hamas terrorists and defend their security.

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“But the whole of the UK is shocked by the bloodshed, and appalled by the killing of brave British heroes who were bringing food to those in need.”

John Chapman, 57, James “Jim” Henderson, 33, and James Kirby, 47, were the three Britons who died in airstrikes carried out by the IDF on their aid convoy on 1 April.

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Mr Sunak also said that after six months of war, “the toll on civilians continues to grow – hunger, desperation, loss of life on an awful scale”.

He said the UK had been “straining every sinew” to get aid into Gaza and that it “must be flooded in”. He also repeated calls for an immediate humanitarian pause, leading to a “long-term sustainable ceasefire”.

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PM ‘shocked’ by aid worker deaths

It comes after it was announced that a Royal Navy ship will be deployed to help get more aid into Gaza, as Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron said “the prospect of famine is real”.

“We remain committed to getting aid to those who so desperately need it,” he added.

“Along with the US, Cyprus and other partners, we are setting up a new temporary pier off the coast of Gaza to get aid in as quickly and securely as possible.”

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IDF recovers hostage’s body

Lord Cameron also wrote in The Sunday Times that the UK’s support of Israel is “not unconditional”, saying that there is “no doubt where the blames lies” for the deaths of Mr Chapman, Mr Henderson and Mr Kirby, and that “this must never happen again”.

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He added: “We must not forget how this conflict started – with the Jewish people suffering the worst and most murderous pogrom since the Holocaust.”