Flights organised to get British nationals out of Israel

By Isaac M October 12, 2023

Flights have been organised to get British nationals out of Israel, the Foreign Office has said, with the first plane set to leave Tel Aviv on Thursday.

A rapid deployment team is also on its way to assist British citizens on the ground.

Vulnerable people are to be prioritised, according to the Foreign Office, and commercial flights will be used to help British nationals trying to leave the country.

Those eligible for the flights will be contacted directly and British nationals should not make their way to the airport unless they are called, it added.

Israel prepares for ground invasion – follow live conflict updates

An Israeli soldier sits on a tank near Israel's border with the Gaza Strip, in southern Israel, October 12, 2023. REUTERS/Violeta Santos Moura
An Israeli soldier sits on a tank near Israel’s border with the Gaza Strip, in southern Israel, October 12, 2023. REUTERS/Violeta Santos Moura

At least 2,400 lives have been claimed in the war, which was ignited by a bloody and wide-ranging Hamas attack on Israel at the weekend – and concerns remain for Brits still there.

Jake Marlowe, 26, became the fourth Briton to be confirmed killed on Wednesday, with at least 17 UK nationals in total reported either dead or missing.

The Foreign Office, which has said family members of its diplomats are leaving Israel as a “precautionary measure”, has advised against all but essential travel to the country.

At least 100 people are believed to have travelled from the UK to Israel to serve in the military there, according to the Israeli Embassy in the UK.

In other key developments:

17 British nationals, including children, killed or missing, Sky News understands

Missing Irish-Israeli woman confirmed dead

Met Police appeals for people to send them footage of attacks in Israel

25 Americans have been killed, US state department says

Netanyahu and opposition agree to form emergency government

UK foreign secretary runs for cover during Israel visit

At least 1,300 Israelis dead and more than 2,700 injured, IDF says

At least 1,417 Palestinians dead and 6,268 injured in Israeli strikes, Gaza Health Ministry says

UK royals issue statements in solidarity with Israel

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Throughought the night in Gaza City, explosions have rung out, levelling buildings and pummelling infrastructure.

British families of Israeli hostages, meanwhile, said the Hamas invasion of Israel amounts to a “second Holocaust”.

The mother of Noam Sagi, 53, and the parents of Sharon Lifschitz, 52, were taken hostage after Hamas fighters entered Kibbutz Nir Oz near the border with Gaza on Saturday.

Mr Sagi told reporters he should be celebrating his mother Ada’s 75th birthday and said the situation has created “the biggest hostage crisis the world has faced in decades”.

Ms Lifschitz described how her parents, whom she is not naming out of fear for their safety, have fought for peace in the region all their lives.

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Family members of people in Israel affected by the war with Hamas, Sharone Lifschitz and Noam Sagi, share their pain over the recent attacks in Israel.

It comes as Israel continues to bombard Gaza – where Israeli citizens are being held hostage.

Around 340,000 people have been left displaced since the start of the recent conflict, the UN reports.

Rescue workers warn the situation is made more dire as Israel continues to block goods from entering the Gaza Strip, where 2.3 million people live.

The Red Cross has pleaded for fuel to be allowed in to prevent hospitals from “turning into morgues”, but Israel says it will not break its siege until all captives taken by Hamas are freed.

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Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu described Hamas as the “enemy of civilisation” and vowed the group will be “crushed”.

Speaking alongside US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Israel on Thursday, Mr Netanyahu said the militant group should be treated “exactly as ISIS was treated”.

He said “no country should harbour” Hamas militants – and those that do should be sanctioned – as he condemned the “murder of children in front of their parents”, the “burning of people alive” and “beheadings”.

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Antony Blinken issues a warning to ‘any adversary thinking of taking advantage of the current crisis to attack’ and says the US ‘has Israel’s back’.

Experts and locals are already saying this is the worst humanitarian crisis Gaza has ever faced.

Hamas media reports 18 people died on Thursday in Israeli airstrikes on a refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip.

Meanwhile, major cemeteries in Gaza have become dangerous to reach, meaning mourning families are using informal graveyards.

With hospital morgues also filled with bodies constantly arriving from bomb sites, families must find other places to bury their dead.

Officials in Gaza have provided a breakdown on those people killed by Israeli airstrikes.

Among the 1,417 dead are 447 children and 248 women, the local health ministry said.

A further 6,268 people have been wounded since Saturday.

More than 1,300 Israelis have been confirmed dead since Hamas’s attacks.


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