UK's Israeli ambassador says Iran's attack on Israel was 'declaration of war'

The Israeli ambassador to the UK told ITV News' Julie Etchingham that Iran has "declared war" on Israel

Britain's Israeli ambassador told ITV News that Iran's attack on her country was a "declaration of war".

Over the weekend, Iran launched 170 drones, more than 30 cruise missiles and at least 120 ballistic missiles on Israel in what Tzipi Hotovely called an "unprecedented event".

"They intended to kill people, they weren't just objects flying in the air, they're missiles," she said.

Israel said it managed to intercept the majority of the missiles Iran had launched on Saturday. Britain and the United States have also confirmed they helped in the operation.

On Monday night, the country's military chief Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi said the strike “will be met with a response,” though he did not specify how or when this will happen.

Speaking to ITV News, Ms Hotovely said that "as a diplomat" she wants the West to form what she's described as a "coalition" and prescribe Iran's army as a terror group.

"The same coalition that was fighting the Iranian aggression on the ground on Saturday night, needs to create also a diplomatic coalition starting to prescribe the IRGC because the Iranian revolutionary guard are the one who's creating this whole destabilisation of the region," she said.

Senior Conservative figures - including former cabinet ministers Sir Iain Duncan Smith and Suella Braverman - have also called on Rishi Sunak to brand Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a terror group.

Sir Iain asked the prime minister to consider proscribing the IRGC after he speaks to the UK’s allies about joint next steps.

The move would see the organisation added to a list of banned groups, which includes Islamists, far-right terrorists and Hamas, which Israel is fighting.

Earlier on Monday, Sunak said he wants to "avoid further escalation and bloodshed” in the region.

Displaced Palestinians trying to walk back from central Gaza Strip to northern Gaza Strip , Sunday, April 14, 2024. Credit: AP

It has been six months since the group's October 7 attacks in Israel, in which they killed more than 1,100 people and kidnapped around 250 people - 133 of whom a presumed to still be in Gaza.

The attack was the trigger for Israel’s ongoing military action in the Gaza Strip, which has resulted in the deaths of more than 33,000 Palestinians, according to the territory’s Hamas-run health authority.

The war on Gaza has also caused the mass displacement of the population, an aid blockade, reports of a famine and an ongoing humanitarian crisis.

During her interview with ITV News, Ms Hotovely maintained Israel was continuously attacking Gaza because Hamas, which runs the government in the region, is using Palestinian civilians as human shields.

When asked how Israel could justify the suffering of women and children in Gaza, including the 13,800 children who have been killed, Ms Hotovely said she could not verify that number.

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