Sir Keir Starmer, the Labour leader, repeated his support for Israel’s right to defend itself, telling the Commons: “Labour stands with Israel. Britain stands with Israel.”

But he, too, raised the need for a measured response, adding: “Israel’s defence must be conducted in accordance with international law. Civilians must not be targeted.

“Innocent lives must be protected. There must be humanitarian corridors. There must be humanitarian access, including food, water, electricity and medicines, so that hospitals can keep people alive and so that innocent people do not needlessly die, and there must be proper protection for all those who work selflessly so aid can be delivered to victims.”

Hamas on Monday night released what it is believed to be its first ‘proof of life’ video of a hostage held in Gaza.

Mia Shem, 21, said she was seriously injured and underwent surgery in Gaza but “everything is fine”.

“They are taking care of me, giving me medicine, everything is fine. Everything is fine, everything is fine,” she added.

Meanwhile, in Israel, Mr Netanyahu gave a warning to Hezbollah in a speech to the Israeli Knesset, saying: “Don’t test us in the north”.

He said Israel would extract a “far heavier” price than in previous conflicts with Hezbollah. The Knesset was evacuated shortly afterwards as rockets were fired towards Jerusalem.

On Monday, The Telegraph witnessed a steady stream of Israeli military pick-up trucks, carrying troops, heading to reinforce the border. 

The deployments reflect spiralling concern in Washington, which has sent two aircraft carriers to the Middle East, about the outbreak of a regional war. The splitting of the Israeli army is also thought to be one factor that has delayed the start of the invasion of Gaza.

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