Foreign Secretary James Cleverly runs for cover when air raid sirens sound during ‘solidarity’ visit to Israel – with at least 17 Brits dead or missing
James Kellerley ran for cover as air raid sirens sounded during a ‘solidarity’ visit to Israel.
The foreign minister had to be rushed to Ofakim, about 20 miles from Gaza, as he experienced first-hand the ongoing threat.
Mr Kellerley said Britain’s support for Israel was “unwavering” as he arrived in the country following the Hamas attacks.
While the king delivered a message condemning the “barbaric acts of terrorism”, the minister met with survivors of the attacks and senior Israeli leaders.
A video released by Israel’s foreign ministry shows Mr Kellerly talking to Rachel Adari, who managed to calm down the fighters who stormed her home by offering them biscuits and coffee during the 15-hour ordeal.
Mr. Smart said today that a “significant number” of British-Israeli citizens have been caught up in the conflict, which has already claimed at least 2,200 lives on both sides.
At least seventeen Britons are currently considered dead or missing, the BBC reported, citing an official source. Earlier estimates put that number at 10.
Meanwhile, British Airways announced this afternoon that it had suspended flights to and from Israel due to security concerns.
James Clearley had to be moved to an asylum in Ofakim as he experienced first-hand the ongoing threat
The Foreign Secretary met with survivors of the attacks and senior Israeli leaders to stress Britain’s solidarity.
A video released by Israel’s foreign ministry shows Mr Kellerly talking to Rachel Adari (right), who was able to calm the militants who stormed her home by offering them cookies and coffee during the 15-hour ordeal.
Mr Kellerley tweeted that the UK’s support for the people of Israel was “unwavering”.
Today, the Israeli forces carried out 250 airstrikes in just one hour on the northern and eastern parts of the Gaza Strip. Photo: Debris from the explosion near the Jabalia refugee camp
The governments of Great Britain and the United States have provided firm support to Benjamin Netanyahu’s administration since the Palestinian terrorist invasion.
A spokesman for Buckingham Palace said that Charles was “extremely concerned” about the situation.
“His thoughts and prayers go out to all those who are suffering, especially those who have lost loved ones, but also those who are actively involved as we speak.
“His Majesty is appalled and condemns Israel’s barbaric acts of terror.”
Speaking to reporters during his visit, Mr. Cleverley said that Israel “has the right to self-defense” and is trying to “recover the kidnapped people.”
“What we know is that Hamas usually invests its military capabilities, its terrorist capabilities, on the civilian population.
“What we want to see is as few casualties as possible.”
Today, the Israeli forces carried out 250 airstrikes in just one hour on the northern and eastern parts of the Gaza Strip.
The British and US governments have provided unwavering support to Benjamin Netanyahu’s administration since the Palestinian terrorist invasion.
Mr Kellerley’s visit to Israel comes amid fears that the conflict, which has already claimed at least 2,100 lives on both sides, could escalate further.
The UK government has not confirmed any figures for the dead or missing, pointing to the rapidly evolving situation in the region.
The dead are known to include 20-year-old Nathaniel Young, who was serving in the Israeli army when he was killed in a Hamas attack.
Bernard Cowan, who grew up in Glasgow, has also died.
Jack Marlowe, 26, who attended the same London school as Mr Young, is missing and photographer Dan Darlington is believed to be dead.
Darlington’s sister, Shelley, said in a social media post that he was “killed” at Kibbutz Nir Oz in southern Israel.
His death has not been officially confirmed.
Nathaniel Young, from London, was serving in the 13th Battalion of the Israel Defense Forces when he was killed on Saturday.
Bernard Cowan, who grew up around Glasgow, also died during the conflict
Jake Marlowe is among the missing after he worked as a security guard at a music festival that was targeted by Hamas terrorists.
James Clearley was spotted in London this morning before jetting off to the Middle East
Mr. Marlowe was providing security for a groundbreaking music festival in the desert near Kibbutz Reim when Hamas gunmen stormed the site.
Meanwhile, Britons who remain stranded in Israel accuse the Foreign Office of not doing enough to get them out.
A London-based Jewish community leader has revealed that he and his congregation had to spend nearly £1m paying for charter flights to the UK.
The FCDO has not yet said when or if it will send planes to help repatriate them from Israel.
So far, only one mass message has been sent to all British citizens in Israel, saying: “Our priority is to contact those who need immediate consular assistance or who have reported missing friends or family.”
“If you have reported a British family member or friend missing and still require information or assistance, please contact us.
“If you need a UK travel document to leave Israel and have not already contacted us, please see the information on our website.”
Booking commercial flights to the UK is incredibly difficult. Although the airspace above Israel and the Palestinian territories is not officially closed, airlines around the world have decided to ground their flights from Israel en masse due to security concerns.
EasyJet, WizzAir, Air France, Lufthansa and Emirates have all suspended flights from Israel to British airports following the outbreak of violence.