Israel evacuation flights for British nationals to begin on Thursday

A rapid deployment team has been dispatched to Tel Aviv Airport to safely remove British nationals from the country.

UK Government Israel evacuation flights for British nationals to begin on Thursday Getty Images

The UK Government has organised flights to help British nationals leave Israel.

The first flight is expected to leave the Israeli city of Tel Aviv on Thursday, the Foreign Office said.

The UK has also sent a rapid deployment team to assist British citizens on the ground.

The Foreign Office said it would facilitate commercial flights to the UK to help British nationals wanting to leave, with vulnerable people prioritised.

It said it will contact those eligible for the flights directly and British nationals should not make their way to the airport unless they are called.

Concerns remain high for the safety of British citizens in the region as the war, ignited by a bloody and wide-ranging Hamas attack on Israel at the weekend, has already claimed at least 2,400 lives.

At least 17 UK nationals are reported to be either dead or missing, including children, with Jake Marlowe, 26, the latest to be named among three known to have died in the incursion by Hamas fighters on Saturday.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office, which has said family members of British diplomats are leaving Israel as a “precautionary measure”, has advised against all but essential travel to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories.

The Israeli Embassy in the UK has said at least 100 people are believed to have travelled from the UK to Israel to serve in the Israeli military.

The embassy said it is understood those who travelled are “reservists and active duty soldiers” in the Israel Defence Forces.

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