• Wednesday, February 21, 2024

HEADLINE STORY

UK advises against all but essential travel to Israel as fighting continues

Sunak has assured Benjamin Netanyahu of London’s ‘steadfast support’

Damaged buildings and rubble are seen in the aftermath of an Israeli strike in Gaza City, October 8, 2023 (Yousef D. Hammash/via REUTERS)

By: Chandrashekar Bhat

BRITAIN said it had updated its travel advice for Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, advising against all but essential travel as fighting continued near Gaza after a bloody incursion by gunmen from Islamist group Hamas.

The UK already advised against all travel to Gaza, but on Sunday (8) also added several areas in Israel close to the border with Gaza to that recommendation, and changed its advice for the country as a whole.

The British Foreign Office also asked all Britons in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories to register their presence there, so they can be kept updated of further changes to travel advice.

Prime minister Rishi Sunak on Sunday assured his Israeli counterpart Benjamin Netanyahu of London’s “steadfast support”.

The blue and white Israeli flag was projected onto the facade of 10 Downing Street on Sunday evening after Sunak posted on X, formerly Twitter, “We stand with Israel”.

“I have just spoken with Prime Minister Netanyahu to assure him of the UK’s steadfast support as Israel defends itself against these appalling attacks,” Sunak said from his official country residence Chequers.

“We will do everything that we can to help. Terrorism will not prevail,” he added.

Hundreds of people have been killed on both sides since the Iran-backed Hamas launched the multi-pronged assault at dawn on Saturday (7), with Israeli forces fighting holdout militants and pounding the Gaza Strip with air strikes.

A Downing Street spokesman said Sunak offered Netanyahu “any support Israel needs”.

(Agencies)

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