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Prince William says ‘too many have been killed’ in Israel-Hamas war and calls for ‘end to fighting as soon as possible’ | UK News

Prince William has said that “too many have been killed” in the Israel-Hamas war, as he called for the fighting to end “as soon as possible”.

In a rare statement on the crisis, the Prince of Wales said he clings “to the hope that a brighter future can be found and I refuse to give up on that”.

“I remain deeply concerned about the terrible human cost of the conflict in the Middle East since the Hamas terrorist attack on 7 October,” he said.

“I, like so many others, want to see an end to the fighting as soon as possible. There is a desperate need for increased humanitarian support to Gaza. It’s critical that aid gets in and the hostages are released.

“Sometimes it is only when faced with the sheer scale of human suffering that the importance of permanent peace is brought home.

“Even in the darkest hour, we must not succumb to the counsel of despair.”

The statement has been issued after it emerged Prince William is set to carry out a series of engagements to highlight the plight of all those affected by the ongoing conflict.

In the coming days he will meet with charities in the UK that are providing humanitarian support in the region and will hear about the conditions faced by those working on the ground.

He will also join a conversation at a synagogue with young people from a wide range of communities to acknowledge the rise in antisemitism around the world.

In October last year Prince William made what was seen as an unexpected intervention when Kensington Palace released a statement expressing his and the Princess of Wales’s profound distress at the devastating events unfolding in the region.

It is rare for members of the Royal Family to make public comments on such contentious matters.

Read more:
US to urge UN to pass temporary ceasefire in Gaza
Israel sets deadline for Rafah ground invasion
Gaza’s Nasser hospital ‘not functional’ following Israeli raid

Prince William reviews the honour guard during a reception ceremony in the West Bank as he visited the occupied Palestinian territories in 2018. Pic: Reuters


, in the West Bank June 27, 2018.
Image:
Prince William reviews the honour guard during a reception ceremony in the West Bank as he visited the occupied Palestinian territories in 2018. Pic: Reuters

, in the West Bank June 27, 2018.

Sky News has been told that Prince William has been following events closely and his concern about the human impact, especially on young people on both sides, has compelled him to want to do more within the diplomatic limits of his position.

In a press release announcing two visits by the heir to the throne, Kensington Palace said: “The Prince and Princess were profoundly concerned by events that unfolded in late 2023 and continue to hold all the victims, their family and friends in their hearts and minds.”

Their statement in October acknowledged the horrors experienced by innocent families on both sides, with their spokesperson saying: “The Prince and Princess of Wales are profoundly distressed by the devastating events that have unfolded in the past days.”

The spokesperson added: “The horrors inflicted by Hamas’s terrorist attack upon Israel are appalling; they utterly condemn them.

“As Israel exercises its right of self-defence, all Israelis and Palestinians will continue to be stalked by grief, fear and anger in the time to come. Their Royal Highnesses hold all the victims, their families and their friends in their hearts and minds.”

Prince William meets with Palestinian students in the West Bank as he visited the occupied Palestian territories in 2018. Pic: Reuters
Image:
Prince William meets with Palestinian students in the West Bank as he visited the occupied Palestian territories in 2018. Pic: Reuters

In a separate statement, the King’s spokesperson said he was “appalled” by the “barbaric acts of terrorism” in Israel, adding the monarch was “extremely concerned” and his “thoughts and prayers are with all of those suffering”.

In June 2018, Prince William became the first member of the Royal Family to visit Israel and the occupied Palestinian Territories.

It continues to be seen as one of his most sensitive and challenging diplomatic trips to date and clearly had a lasting impact on him.

During the four-day trip, he expressed his own hopes for “lasting peace” in the region.

Protesters who climb on war memorials to face three months in prison under new plans | UK News

Protesters who climb on war memorials could face three months in prison and a £1,000 fine under plans being proposed by the home secretary.

Announcing the plans, James Cleverly said ascending memorials was “an insult” and “cannot continue”.

The cabinet minister vowed last year to look into giving police new powers to protect remembrance sites after pro-Palestinian protesters climbed on the Royal Artillery Memorial at Hyde Park Corner in London following a demonstration outside parliament on 15 November.

Downing Street at the time described the behaviour as an “affront”, but Metropolitan Police Sir Mark Rowley said arresting protesters for scaling the memorial would have been unlawful.

The Home Office said that, under the new plans, climbing on war memorials will become a specific public order offence.

It said the measure would “stop protesters disrespecting those who have given their lives for our country”.

The announcement comes after 10,000 Palestinian supporters marched in central London on Saturday calling for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza.

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Do war memorials need protecting?

Mr Cleverly, who was a Territorial Army officer in the Royal Artillery, said: “Recent protests have seen a small minority dedicated to causing damage and insulting those who paid the ultimate price for their freedom to protest.

“Peaceful protest is fundamental in our county, but climbing on our war memorials is an insult to these monuments of remembrance and cannot continue.

“That is why I am giving police the powers they need to ensure they have the tools to keep order and peace on our streets.”

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The measure, designed to apply across England and Wales, is scheduled to be introduced as an amendment at the report stage of the Criminal Justice Bill in the House of Commons.

The proposal will form part of a wider plan, due to be unveiled this week, aimed at tackling disorder at protests, the Home Office said.

Pope offers solidarity with Bethlehem and condemns ‘the futile logic of war’ | UK News

The Pope used his sermon at Midnight Mass to offer his solidarity with people in the Middle East – and condemn the “futile logic of war”.

Francis, 87, told 6,500 people inside St Peter’s Basilica: “Our hearts are in Bethlehem, where the Prince of Peace is once more rejected by the futile logic of war”.

He added that the “clash of arms today” prevents Jesus from “finding room in the world”.

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Pope Francis: ‘Our hearts are in Bethlehem’

In Bethlehem itself, Mass was held by Palestinian Christians who reflected on the war around them in Israel and Gaza.

The traditional Nativity scene in Manger Square was also surrounded by rubble and barbed wire.

A Christmas installation of a grotto with figures standing amid rubble surrounded by a razor wire, is displayed outside the Church of the Nativity, in support of Gaza, on Manger Square in Bethlehem, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank December 24, 2023. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne
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The Nativity scene in Manger Square, Bethlehem

In Vatican City, recalling that Jesus was born during a census meant to reinforce King David’s power, the pontiff “the quest for worldly power and might, fame and glory, which measures everything in terms of success, results, numbers and figures, a world obsessed with achievement”.

By contrast, Jesus entered the world humbly. “Here, we see not a god of wrath and chastisement, but the God of mercy, who takes flesh and enters the world in weakness,” he said.

A pagan deity is linked to “power, worldly success and idolatry of consumerism,” the pope said.

“God, on the other hand, waves no magic want; he is no god of commerce who promises everything all at once. He does not save us by pushing a button, but draws near us, in order to change our world from within.”

File photo dated 21/04/19 of the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby who has condemned the "utterly abhorrent" attacks by Hamas in Israel as he sent his sympathies to British Jews who he said are experiencing the "double jeopardy" of a potential rise in antisemitic sentiment as they mourn. Issue date: Wednesday October 11, 2023.

On Christmas Day the Archbishop of Canterbury will use his sermon to highlight the suffering of children caught up in the Israel-Hamas war.

The Most Rev Justin Welby is expected to say “the skies of Bethlehem are full of fear rather than angels and glory”, referring to Jesus Christ’s birthplace, which is now in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

He will then compare the turbulent conditions of Jesus’s birth with the plight of children today in the troubled region.

“Today a crying child is in a manger somewhere in the world, nobody willing or able to help his parents who desperately need shelter. Or in an incubator, in a hospital low on electricity, like al Ahli (hospital) in Gaza, surrounded by conflict,” he will say during his sermon at Canterbury Cathedral.

Also referring to Ukraine and Sudan, Mr Welby will say: “So many parts of the world seem beset with violence.”

He will add that a commitment to “serving, not in being served” was needed to resolve problems of climate change, terrorism, economic inequality and “the desperation and ambitions that drive more and more to migration”.

PA REVIEW OF THE YEAR 2023 File photo dated 06/05/23 - King Charles III, seated in St Edward's Chair, also known as the Coronation Chair, is crowned with St Edward's Crown by The Archbishop of Canterbury the Most Reverend Justin Welby during his coronation ceremony in Westminster Abbey, London. The King is holding The Sovereign's…
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The King crowned by The Archbishop of Canterbury at his coronation in May

Read more UK news:
Picture released of King ahead of Christmas message
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Addressing the King, the Archbishop will suggest the monarch is following the example of Jesus in providing leadership through service.

“Two thousand years later, at a coronation, it seemed natural and right for a king in royal robes to answer a child, ‘I come not to be served, but to serve’ – and we know it to be his intention, the right way to be a king,” Mr Welby will say, having conducted the coronation on 6 May.

The King is set to knight the Archbishop of Canterbury in the upcoming New Year Honours list, according to reports.

China accuses UK of violating international law after sanctions over Ukraine war | UK News

China has accused Britain of violating international law after the UK announced new sanctions targeting “individuals and groups supporting and funding Putin’s war machine”.

China’s embassy said it firmly opposes the sanctions and has warned that any action harming China’s interests “will be met with a firm response”.

In a statement, the embassy insisted that Beijing has remained objective and fair on the war in Ukraine and it is urging the UK to “correct its mistakes and withdraw the sanctions on Chinese firms”.

Forty-six new sanctions were announced by the UK, and the list of targets includes businesses in China, as well as firms in Belarus, Serbia, Turkey, the UAE and Uzbekistan.

The UK’s sanctions targeted 31 people and entities it said were linked to the design and manufacture of drones and missile parts and the import of electronic components.

Three Chinese entities, Asia Pacific Links Limited, Sinno Electronics Co., Limited, and Xinghua Co., Limited, were targeted for supplying sanctioned goods.

Four UAE-based entities it said were involved in trading Russian oil were also affected, as well as others linked to the Wagner mercenary group.

A Belarusian defence organisation the UK said had manufactured military technology used by Minsk to support Russia’s war effort was also sanctioned.

“We will continue to ratchet up pressure on Putin and crack down on third parties providing restricted goods and technology to Russia, wherever they may be,” junior foreign minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan said.

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Rochdale Cenotaph: Two teenagers charged with criminal damage for spraying ‘Free Palestine’ on war memorial | UK News

Two teenagers have been charged for writing “Free Palestine” on Rochdale Cenotaph.

On Tuesday, the war memorial in Rochdale, Greater Manchester, was spray painted with the slogan in red.

Today, Greater Manchester Police (GMP) said two men have been charged with racially aggravated criminal damage, with one also accused of theft, after they were arrested on Tuesday.

The force said neither of the teenagers could be legally identified due to their ages, and added both had been released on bail.

GMP declined to give the ages of the defendants. A court date has yet to be fixed.

Detective Chief Inspector Stuart Round said: “I hope the swift charges provide some reassurance to the public that our investigation is moving at pace.

“I understand the emotional distress that has been caused in the local community by the damage to the cenotaph and our team of detectives will continue working tirelessly to hold those responsible to account.”

Rochdale cenotaph with the words 'Free Palestine' spray painted across it
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Detective Chief Inspector Stuart Round said: ‘I hope the swift charges provide some reassurance.’

After the incident on Tuesday, GMP officers have been stationed by the memorial, which stands yards away from the police station.

Sir Edwin Lutyens designed the Rochdale memorial, as well as the Cenotaph in Whitehall.

The northern cenotaph is one of seven based outside of London, and was unveiled in 1922.

Israel-Gaza war: Half of Britons think pro-Palestinian marches should be banned on Armistice Day, poll finds | UK News

Half of people in Great Britain think pro-Palestinian marches should not be allowed to take place in London on Armistice Day, despite more people overall sympathising with Palestinians than Israel, according to an exclusive poll for Sky News.

A third of those asked thought the planned protests should be allowed to go ahead, according to a YouGov poll of 2,080 adults, carried out for Sky News on the 7th and 8th of November.

The chief of the Metropolitan Police, Sir Mark Rowley, has said the London demonstration calling for a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip will take place as planned on Saturday.

Home Secretary Suella Braverman has criticised the decision publicly, while Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has said he would hold Sir Mark “accountable” for allowing it, and Health Secretary Steve Barclay told Sky News that 11 November was the “wrong day” for protest action in London.

But Sir Mark said the “legal threshold” to stop the march on security grounds “had not been met”, and while there was “no mechanism to ban a gathering, a static protest”, people “should be very reassured that we’re going to keep this away from the remembrance and armistice events”.

How have sympathies changed since the 7 October attacks?

Sympathy from the British public is evenly split between the Israeli and Palestinian sides since the latest conflict broke out.

Support for the Palestinians has grown most since the immediate aftermath of the 7 October Hamas attacks on Israel.

The number of people who say they “don’t know” if they have the most sympathy for either side has almost halved in the last month, with a third of people now saying they have equal sympathy for both sides.

Splits by generation and politics

There are significant divides of opinion along lines of age and political support.

Older people and Conservatives are three times more likely to have sympathy for Israel than younger people and Labour voters, who tend to have more support for the Palestinians, the poll found.

The political divide is particularly interesting in the context of the government and official opposition having similar policies to one another, in terms of how Britain should respond to the war and escalating conflict.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer, like Rishi Sunak, has supported calls for a “humanitarian pause” in Israel’s military action, to allow aid into Gaza, but has stopped short of calling for an outright ceasefire.

While Conservatives appear relatively united on the stance, a portion of Labour members, councillors and even MPs have been vocal in their opposition to the position of the party’s leadership.

Type of ceasefire affects public support

The poll also reveals that more than half of people who voted Labour in the 2019 general election think the UK should oppose Israeli military action and call for an outright ceasefire, while fewer than one in five agree with the current policy.

More than a third of 2019 Tory voters thought a temporary ceasefire was the best option, twice as many as those who would oppose Israel’s military action entirely.

A third of people – the most popular option – believe recent similar demonstrations to the one planned on Saturday have mostly been about expressing support for Palestinians and opposition to war, the poll also found.

That’s almost twice as many as those who believe they have mostly been about expressing hatred of Israel and Jewish people, as suggested by Suella Braverman on Monday.

Almost three-quarters of people said the events in Israel and Gaza had made them feel upset, while two-thirds said it made them feel angry.


The Data and Forensics team is a multi-skilled unit dedicated to providing transparent journalism from Sky News. We gather, analyse and visualise data to tell data-driven stories. We combine traditional reporting skills with advanced analysis of satellite images, social media and other open source information. Through multimedia storytelling we aim to better explain the world while also showing how our journalism is done.

Israel-Hamas war: ‘From the river to the sea’ controversial chant heard as thousands join pro-Palestine march in London | UK News

Thousands of people have joined a pro-Palestine protest in London calling for an end to Israel’s bombardment of Gaza.

Police estimated around 100,000 demonstrators gathered in the capital, as other rallies have been organised elsewhere in the UK including Manchester and Glasgow.

A suspect was arrested on Whitehall after an officer was assaulted and the officer is on their way to hospital with an update on their condition expected later, the Metropolitan Police said.

Protesters young and old marched from Embankment and across Westminster Bridge waving Palestine flags and holding various placards, some saying “free Palestine”, “stop bombing Gaza” and “end Israeli apartheid”.

Protesters during a pro-Palestine march organised by Palestine Solidarity Campaign in central London. Picture date: Saturday October 28, 2023. PA Photo. See PA story POLITICS Israel. Photo credit should read: Jordan Pettitt/PA Wire
Protesters during a pro-Palestine march organised by Palestine Solidarity Campaign in central London. Picture date: Saturday October 28, 2023.
Protesters during a pro-Palestine march organised by Palestine Solidarity Campaign in central London. Picture date: Saturday October 28, 2023. PA Photo. See PA story POLITICS Israel. Photo credit should read: Jordan Pettitt/PA Wire

“From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free”, was one of the chants heard from the crowds – despite controversy surrounding the slogan.

For some, it is a call to end the Israeli occupation of the West Bank. To others, including many Jewish groups, it is an antisemitic slogan – calling for a state extending from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea, which would wipe Israel off the map.

Home Secretary Suella Braverman said the chant was antisemitic, claiming it is “widely understood” to call for the destruction of Israel.

A police horse knocked over a woman during the protest after it was startled by fireworks near the Houses of Parliament. She appeared to be fine when helped back up.

The route of the demonstration traverses Waterloo Bridge, the Strand, Whitehall and Parliament Street.

Ahead of today’s event, the Metropolitan Police said there was no place for hate crime.

They said they would have 2,000 officers on duty across the city, adding that interventions are expected if protesters are heard to use the word “jihad” – a word with numerous interpretations including struggle or effort but also holy war.

They decided not to arrest a man filmed chanting words including “jihad” at a pro-Palestine protest last weekend after assessing the video and failing to identify any offences, with specialist Crown Prosecution Service lawyers reaching the same conclusion.

Authorities have also imposed a separate condition which prevents protesters gathering outside the Israeli Embassy in South Kensington.

A protest shrouded in green and red smoke – Emma Birchley

‘Free, free Palestine’ echoed along the Embankment as tens of thousands marched in solidarity with those suffering in Gaza.

They turned on to Westminster Bridge in a haze of green and red flare smoke… the same colours as the Palestinian flags waving in the autumn breeze as far as the eye could see.

This was a crowd of all ages, backgrounds, nationalities and faiths.

Among the placards that read ‘freedom for Palestine’ and ‘ceasefire now’ there were others too. ‘This Jew stands with Gaza. End the occupation’ said one.

The pre-planned route was close to 2.5 miles long bringing much of central London to a standstill.

So huge was the crowd that as the front of the march arrived at the final destination of Parliament Square, at the back they were still passing the official starting point.

It was predicted the protest would be big, with thousands of police officers on duty in case of trouble.

But for the vast majority this was about peaceful protest while making sure their message was heard loud and clear.

Read more:
Israel’s latest ground raid into Gaza is different from what we’ve seen before
‘We can’t even check on our families’: Inside Gaza after phone and internet lines cut

Protesters during a pro-Palestine march organised by Palestine Solidarity Campaign in central London. Picture date: Saturday October 28, 2023.
Protesters during a pro-Palestine march organised by Palestine Solidarity Campaign in central London. Picture date: Saturday October 28, 2023. PA Photo. See PA story POLITICS Israel. Photo credit should read: Jordan Pettitt/PA Wire

Meanwhile police are looking for three women and a man who attended pro-Palestinian protests in London – three of which had images on them of paragliders.

Counter terrorism detectives appeal for help from the public in identifying four people
Pic:Met Police
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Counter-terrorism detectives appeal for help from the public in identifying four people. Pic:Met Police


Paragliders were used by Hamas militants during their deadly surprise attack on Israel earlier this month.

Hundreds of Israelis were killed, including 260 people at a music festival.

Thousands of Palestinians have been killed in retaliatory strikes by Israel.

Israel-Hamas war: Football cannot resist being political – until it becomes too challenging | UK News

Trying to be uplifting while sounding fanciful.

It took until the seventh day of mourning for FIFA President Gianni Infantino to offer any condolences.

And when he did it was to claim football can play a role in ending hostilities between the Israelis and Hamas as a “vehicle for peace”.

That will seem a distant proposition for the Israelis grieving more than 1,300 victims of the Hamas massacres on their territory last Saturday.

Or for those in Gaza feeling the full force of the retaliation – with Israeli strikes to eradicate the threat of a group designated a terror organisation by the UK government.

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FA branded ‘spineless’

Follow live: Israel launches Gaza ground missions

Football Association president Prince William, through palace aides, did say there was a “right of self-defence” by Israel.

But football has struggled with how to show compassion while delicately assessing remarks issued on the bloodiest escalation in decades in a long-running conflict.

And football’s voice matters because the sport wants to matter with an impact beyond sport.

But football bodies suggesting a moral equivalence when decrying Israeli and Hamas actions has provoked anger among Jewish leaders in England and sports leaders in Israel.

The Premier League said it “strongly condemns the horrific and brutal acts of violence against innocent civilians” with a reference to both Israel and Gaza.

Chelsea broke ranks from the unified position by reposting the league statement with their own, highlighting sadness at the “huge loss of life following last weekend’s attacks on Israel”.

The west London club added: “We stand with the Jewish community in London and around the world in the face of the rising tide of antisemitism, which we have long campaigned against.”

It was the lack of recognition of antisemitic undertones to the Hamas rampage that angered Rabbi Alex Goldberg.

He resigned as the Football Association’s Faith in Football group chair after the governing body failed to specifically honour the “victims of the worst single atrocity committed against Jewish targets since the Shoah” – the Hebrew word for the Holocaust.

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‘I’ve resigned because the FA failed’

Rabbi Goldberg told Sky News: “There’s no moral equivalence. There’s acts of violence that have led again into war.”

Those concerns were shared by Lord Mann, the government’s independent anti-racism adviser, after the FA failed to light the Wembley arch in the blue and white of Israel.

He said the inconsistency with commemorations of terror attacks from Turkey to France and Belgium politicised the FA.

Lord Mann told Sky News: “British citizens were murdered in Israel by Hamas terrorists and they’ve chosen not to recognise it and I find that depressingly sad.

“And there’s a lot of anger out there in the Jewish community and the message is Jews don’t count in football.”

But the FA has had to navigate the complexities of issuing a public statement on enmity far removed from football while seemingly avoiding offence.

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They will be keenly aware many Premier League players have shown solidarity very visibly with the Palestinian cause against Israel’s military might – with resulting club unease.

They will be aware of the backlash felt by Arsenal and Ukraine player Oleksandr Zinchenko for backing Israel after the Hamas slaughter – recognising the struggle his homeland has defending territory.

And it is English football throwing its full corporate support behind Ukraine against Russia last year that has left it compromised with a more delicate, cautious position on the Israel-Hamas war.

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Israel-Gaza misinformation

Football cannot resist being political when the power of its platform and societal benefits can be extolled.

Until it becomes too challenging and fraught.

When you talk up football’s ability to end wars and heal societies then go silent for a week after such trauma, the eventual response can expose the timidity of leaders – appearing deficient and ultimately more divisive.

Israel-Gaza war: ‘Highly likely’ hostages held by Hamas include Britons, says Defence Secretary Grant Shapps | Politics News

Britons are “highly likely” to be among those held by Hamas in Gaza, Defence Secretary Grant Shapps has told Sky News.

The cabinet minister revealed the UK had also sent additional intelligence personnel to the region as part of efforts to release those captured or assist citizens trapped in the besieged enclave.

His comments came just before Hamas claimed Israel’s bombardment of the Gaza Strip had killed 13 hostages, including foreigners, held by the group.

The UK is sending RAF aircraft and Royal Navy ships to the eastern Mediterranean to support Israel and “send a signal” to the wider region in the wake of the surprise attack by militants on Saturday, which has unleashed a conflict that has already claimed at least 2,700 lives.

Pressed over whether UK citizens were among those kidnapped by insurgents and held in Gaza, Mr Shapps said: “It seems very likely that there are. We don’t have exact data on that for obvious reasons.

“But within Gaza, there will also be Brits, or possibly people with dual nationalities as well.

“The prime minister has spoken to the Egyptian president about using that border to get people out.

“The situation is far from clear.

“It’s one of the reasons, as I mentioned before, we’ve sent additional personnel, intelligence personnel, in order to assist with exactly those types of operations.”

Mr Shapps added: “It is highly likely – no one will know for sure – that there are… either British nationals or people with a joint nationality involved in the hostage situation that has been reported previously.”

Read more:
Follow the latest on Israel-Hamas war

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Gaza hospitals ‘risk turning into morgues’

Shapps defends ‘substantial’ UK support

To date, at least 1,300 Israelis have died while 1,417 Palestinians, including 447 children, have been killed in retaliatory strikes in Gaza – where electricity, water and fuel have been cut off.

The Foreign Office said flights have been organised to get British nationals out of Israel, with the first plane for “vulnerable” people expected to depart today.

The military force being deployed by the UK to the region includes P8 surveillance aircraft, two Royal Navy ships – Royal Fleet Auxiliary (RFA) vessels Lyme Bay and Argus – three Merlin helicopters and a company of Royal Marines.

Critics have highlighted the UK force will be a token gesture compared to the support provided by the US.

But Mr Shapps said: “We do in fact have warships in the region if we needed to, but we don’t want to escalate the situation.

“What we want to do is assist and by working with our friends and allies.

“That is exactly what this is intended to do.

“We are also… thickening or bolstering our intelligence gathering with people on the ground throughout the region as well.

“So our input is actually quite substantial and working in hand-in-glove with our allies and particularly the Americans in this case.”

He went on: “It’s intelligence, surveillance and really a signal to the wider region and perhaps those actors who might now try to exploit this terrorist, Hamas situation.”

Read more on this story:
Why Israel is braced for Hezbollah attack
How negotiators will be working to free Hamas hostages

Gaza ground offensive will be ‘high-risk’ for Israel

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Sky News visits site of music festival massacre

‘Israel is doing all it can to warn people’

Mr Shapps also insisted Israel had the right to defend itself when questioned over the evacuation order for more than a million Palestinians to move to the south of Gaza in the next 24 hours, in the face of a possible ground offensive.

He said: “Israel, unlike Hamas – who again, and I saw this at NATO where we had a full briefing on what happened, including seeing some very distressing video of Hamas beheading people, murdering people, showing off the bodies and dragging them through the street, raping people – unlike that terrorist organisation, Israel is doing all it can to provide advance notice and warning in order that they can go after those terrorists who carried out those actions, and by the way have taken hostages as well.

“Hamas can bring all of this to an end, they can release the hostages, they can recognise not just Israel, [but also] remove from their founding charter the principle of eradicating all Jews from the Earth.”

He added: “Israel on the other hand has the perfect right to defend itself. It is doing that in a manner which is giving people warning in advance when they are going to go after areas.”

At home, the government also announced it would provide an extra £3m in funding to bolster security at Jewish schools following reports some had been forced to close over fears of the safety of pupils.

Israel-Hamas war: Met Police appeals for footage or images of attack after British citizens confirmed dead | UK News

The Metropolitan Police has appealed for footage or images of last weekend’s attack in Israel after a number of British citizens were confirmed dead in the country.

The force’s counter-terrorism unit is “appealing for anyone in the UK who has direct evidence related to the terrorist attacks”.

It added: “This appeal is directed at anyone who may have already returned from Israel in the past few days.

“There may also be people in the UK who have friends, relatives or loved ones in Israel and have been sent direct messages, images or videos.

“UK nationals are among those who were killed or are missing.

“Specialist officers are in close contact with colleagues in the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) to act upon information about UK nationals being received.”

The police are discouraging people from sending them footage or information from social media, online sources and media reports.

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Cleverly runs for cover in Israel

Seventeen British nationals, including children, are feared to have been killed or are missing in the country, Sky News understands.

Four British men have been confirmed to have died as a result of the incursion.

Jake Marlowe, a security guard at the Supernova music festival raided by Hamas over the weekend, was confirmed dead today.

Jake Marlowe working as a security guard in southern Israel
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Jake Marlowe was working as a security guard in southern Israel

The 26-year-old’s parents, Lisa and Michael Marlowe, said: “We are heartbroken to have to inform you the crushing news that our son Jake has been confirmed dead in southern Israel.”

Read more:
King and Prince of Wales make statements on conflict
Hamas fighters could still be hiding in Israel

The three others of those known to have died are Israeli army member Nathanel Young, Bernard Cowan from Scotland, and photographer Dan Darlington.

Hamas launched the attack on Saturday morning, indiscriminately firing thousands of rockets from Gaza into Israel.

After its militants crossed the border, on foot and using various modes of transport – including several on paragliders – Israel retaliated with air strikes in the Gaza Strip.

Since the initial assault, at least 1,200 Israelis and 1,100 Palestinians have been killed.