A Bolton MP has called for an end to fighting in Gaza and said Rafah is a "city of children."

The UK Government has been accused of turning a blind eye to the “slaughter of tens of thousands of innocent civilians” as MPs call for tougher action on Israel

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has said he is concerned about the humanitarian cost of an offensive around the city in the south of Gaza where a large number of refugees have gathered.

And Mark Logan, who represents Bolton North East, has called for an end to fighting.

He said: “Unicef has said that Rafah is a city of children – and we shouldn’t be dancing around and playing words like a game of Scrabble, we should call it what it is and we should be calling for an immediate ceasefire.

“When will one of the most influential countries in the conflict, our own country the United Kingdom, call for an immediate end to the fighting?”

Israeli forces seized control of the Gazan side of the Rafah border crossing with Egypt, an important route for aid to reach the territory.

The offensive again raised the risks of an all-out Israeli assault on Rafah, a move the United States strongly opposes and that aid groups warn will be disastrous for some 1.4 million Palestinians taking refuge there.

During an urgent question on the war in Gaza in the Commons, SNP foreign affairs spokesperson Brendan O’Hara said Israel ignored red lines set by the UK “without condemnation or consequence”.

He told MPs: “We know how this plays out. You plead with them, they ignore you, they do what they want, and you find excuses for them and so a blind eye will be turned to the slaughter of tens of thousands of innocent civilians.

“And while the UK Government calls for more aid to the survivors, it will continue to issue arms export licences. This has been the pattern of behaviour for seven months. Can we expect anything different?”

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Deputy foreign secretary Andrew Mitchell replied: “We are working flat out in these very difficult circumstances to achieve something different and we will continue to do so.”

He added: “(Mr O’Hara) asks me about the issue of the sale of arms. The Foreign Secretary announced on April 9, that the British position with regard to export licences is unchanged. We do not publish the Government’s legal advice, but we always act in accordance with it.”

Shadow foreign secretary David Lammy, who put forward the Urgent Questions, asked if an attack on Rafah by Israel would constitute a “serious breach of international humanitarian law”.

He told MPs: “This is a profoundly concerning moment in this awful war. Ceasefire negotiations appear to be going backwards. Today the war is not just continuing, it’s escalating.”

He added: “Can the minister say why he thinks an attack on Rafah does not present a clear risk of a serious breach of international humanitarian law, and can he confirm whether he has received any assessment – not legal advice – but any assessment or policy advice from FCDO (Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office) officials that the threshold has already been met?

“Now more than ever, we need an immediate ceasefire, the release of all hostages and unimpeded aid to Gaza.”

Mr Mitchell said the Government had made clear its position on Rafah, and the UK with its allies at the UN are “working together to try and improve what is a terrible situation”.

Conservative former minister Suella Braverman expressed support for Israel, arguing that “sometimes countries must fight for peace” as she called for the Government to maintain “steadfast and resolute” support for Israel.

Conservative MP James Sunderland (Bracknell) said: “Given the increasing compression of that population in Rafah in a much, much smaller geographical area, the need for precision, restraint and proportionality from the Israelis is ever more acute.”

He added that “everything possible to convince the Israelis of the need to preserve the sanctity of human life” should be done.

Rochdale MP George Galloway said the Government is not doing all it can over the Gaza conflict, and called for an export ban on weapons to Israel.

The Workers Party of Britain MP said: “The situation has escalated, but the Government’s response remains the same.”

He continued: “There are 600,000 child hostages in Rafah alone. There is no proof of life from them, but millions of our people are watching on their phone today the proof of death and mutilation of many of them.

“The Government say they are doing everything they can, but they are not, because you could now stop sending weapons to the people who are raining down this death and misery. And the Labour Party could actually ask you too, but didn’t.”

Mr Mitchell said: “The policies we are pursuing are long-term and they are designed to tackle the evils that have been so clearly set out this afternoon in the House.”

He added that the UK has been helping children in Gaza through medical aid, including through its field hospital near the city.

Labour MP Jess Phillips (Birmingham, Yardley) told the Commons: “What he is saying, between the lines, is that Israel has currently breached the rule that the UK has set.

“And I don’t think he wants to say it here, but that is what I am hearing, so if there is no credible plan to move those people, and attack is ongoing, when can we expect if not today an update on the UK’s position towards Israel, arms sales, and other things that have been mentioned today from this despatch box?”

Mr Mitchell replied: “I have given her the update from the despatch box insofar as there is an update to give.”

He added: “We have not seen a credible plan for military action in Rafah so far, and therefore we are not able to judge whether or not it will be in accordance with international humanitarian law.”