‘It’s a war crime’: ITV News' Gaza clip sparks outrage from charities, US officials and Westminster

This video contains distressing images

Rishi Sunak and the US were quizzed over an ITV News video which shows a civilian being shot dead while in a group carrying a white flag in Gaza, many say this shows a 'war crime,' John Irvine and Robert Moore report

The "shocking video" of a man part of a group waving a white flag being shot dead in Gaza, released by ITV News, has sparked accusations of a "war crime".

Leading charities including Amnesty International and the Norwegian Refugee Council condemned the incident, while Rishi Sunak plus top US officials were quizzed on their reaction today.

On Tuesday, footage filmed by Mohammed Abu Safia, a cameraman working for ITV News, showed a group of men in Gaza, holding a white flag, who wanted to rescue their family after being forced to evacuate their homes.

Minutes later, one of the men - Ramzi Abu Sahloul - was fatally shot in the chest.

A group of men in Gaza, holding a white flag, told ITV News they wanted to rescue their family members - minutes later one was shot dead, as Senior International Correspondent John Irvine reports

This video contains distressing images

When asked about the video on Wednesday, the leader of the Norwegian Refugee Council said "it's evidence of a war crime".

Speaking to ITV News, Jan Egeland said: "It's an absolutely shocking video... civilians are protected, precautions should be taken to shield them - it's not debatable the law is very clear.

"If it was the Israel Defence Force [IDF] you could charge commanders here, it's utterly important there will be accountability."

Francesca Albanese, UN Special Rapporteur on the occupied Palestinian territories, described the incident as "a televised war crime".

She added: "What kind of justification can be found for the killing of someone waving a white flag? From that distance? What kind of danger were those people posing? They were just talking to some journalist."

Sunak has been urged to back a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas in the wake of the video being released.

During Wednesday's Prime Minister's Questions, Stephen Flynn said: "Last night, as Tory MPs were once again fighting amongst themselves, the public were sat at home watching John Irvine of ITV News report on footage from Gaza of an unarmed Palestinian man, walking under a white flag, being shot and killed by the IDF.

"Prime Minister, such an act constitutes a war crime, does it not?"

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In response, Sunak said "international humanitarian law should be respected, and civilians should be protected".

But Flynn pushed further, adding: "I don't think it's unreasonable to ask the PM of the United Kingdom to rise to that dispatch box and tell the people of these isles and elsewhere, that shooting an unarmed man walking under a white flag is a war crime.

"Now in recent weeks this house has acted with urgency and intent following an ITV drama, the question is will this house now show the same urgency and intent following this ITV News report and finally back a ceasefire in Gaza."

Sunak replied: "Mr Speaker no-one wants to see this conflict go on for a moment longer than necessary, and we do want to see an immediate and sustained humanitarian pause."

Rishi Sunak does not condemn the shooting of an unarmed man in Gaza as a 'war crime' but he does say he is 'concerned' about the loss of civilian life in the enclave

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said he hadn't seen the footage when asked about it on ITV's Peston on Wednesday night.

After being asked about it again in an exclusive interview with ITV News, Sir Keir said he still hadn't seen the footage.

He said: "there must be accountability", and insisted "Israel has a duty to comply with international law."

Sir Keir reinforced his view expressed on Wednesday that he doesn't think "it's wise for politicians to look at clips and form instant judgements".

ITV News Washington Correspondent Robert Moore also quizzed White House spokesperson Vedant Patel on the US' reaction to the clip.

While he refused to comment on it specifically, and said it was down to the IDF to investigate, Mr Patel said the loss of civilian life was "heartbreaking".

He said: "Any civilian life lost is one too many and we have made this clear with the Israelis and will continue to do so. "

"We have been clear to our Israeli partners that they need to take every possible measures to avoid civilian harm during an operation and investigate credible allegations of war violations when they arise that is for our partners in the IDF to speak to."

Pentagon spokesman Brigadier General Pat Ryder told ITV News: "For questions about IDF operations, I would refer you to the Israeli Ministry of Defence.

"There's no question the war between Israel and Hamas is a great tragedy. And the death of any innocent civilians in this conflict, whether they be Palestinian or Israeli, is tragic.

"As you've heard us say, we support Israel's inherent right to defend its citizens from terrorism.

"We also expect them to conduct operations in accordance with the laws of war and to help enable the flow of humanitarian assistance to the people of Gaza."

The IDF dismissed the video in a statement to ITV News, saying it is "not aware of this incident."

"The video is clearly edited and we have no way to comment," a spokesperson said.

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