Rishi Sunak is to chair an emergency Cobra meeting amid fears that the conflict between Hamas and Israel could have increased the domestic terror threat in Britain.
The Prime Minister will assemble police and national security officials and home secretary Suella Braverman in Downing Street on Monday morning, Whitehall sources said.
Education minister Robert Halfon stressed before the meeting that the Government has to ensure British citizens are “safe and secure from the threat of terrorism”.
He declined to say whether the terror threat level might be raised. It currently stands at “substantial” in England, Wales and Scotland, meaning an attack is likely.
It has been at that level since February last year when it was lowered from “severe”, meaning an attack is highly likely.
Metropolitan Police commissioner Sir Mark Rowley warned on Sunday that terrorism is being “accelerated” by events in the Middle East, as he raised concerns about “state threats from Iran”.
Meanwhile, foreign secretary James Cleverly is in Abu Dhabi for talks on getting humanitarian aid into Gaza and allowing civilians, including British nationals, to leave.
He said the United Arab Emirates has had a “thoughtful and authoritative” voice on aid, as he meets Emirati foreign minister Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
Cleverly warned supplies are “predominantly stuck” in Egypt as allies push for a “humanitarian pause” to allow aid to reach the Gaza Strip, which is home to more than two million people.
“It’s trickling through, but we need a significant increase in the volume,” he told broadcasters in the UAE.
In the UK, Halfon told LBC it is a “fearful time” for British Jews as tensions have risen since Hamas’s wave of bloodshed launched on Israel on October 7.
He said there are “ever-increasing incidents of antisemitism on campus”.
Asked on Times Radio whether the terror threat level could be raised in the UK, Halfon said: “I’m not at that Cobra meeting. I’m sure it will be announced later on.
“But, of course, we have to make sure that British citizens are safe and secure from the threat of terrorism as the Government always does.”
Around 200 UK nationals in Gaza have contacted the Foreign Office as hopes are pinned on getting the Rafah crossing with Egypt opened to allow their release.
Scottish First Minister Humza Yousaf said his in-laws have run out of drinking water after getting trapped in Gaza while visiting family.
The UK Government is only calling for a pause in the fighting rather than the ceasefire the United Nations and others are pushing for.
Sunak has argued that Tel Aviv has a right to defend itself as it seeks to rescue the more than 239 hostages seized by Hamas because its fighters killed more than 1,400 people in Israel.
Thirty-three lorries entered Gaza on Sunday in the largest aid convoy since the attack provoked Israel’s siege, cutting off food, water, fuel and medicines to combatants as well as civilians.
Israeli troops and tanks pushed deeper into northern and central Gaza on Monday, as Tel Aviv expanded its ground offensive after pounding the territory with air strikes.
The death toll among Palestinians has passed 8,000, according to the Hamas-run Gaza health ministry.
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