GAZA: Britons have been advised to be prepared if the Rafah border crossing opens

  • By Christy Cooney
  • BBC News

image caption,

British nationals are being urged to go south as directed by the Israeli government

British nationals in Gaza have been told to be ready if the Rafah border crossing into Egypt is opened.

Located in southern Gaza, the crossing is the only route out of the border controlled by Hamas, Egypt and Israel.

It comes after a third UK government charter flight took off from Israel.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak will also meet King Abdullah of Jordan on Sunday to discuss the conflict.

Water, food and energy supplies to Gaza were cut off last week, prompting international concern over the potential for a humanitarian disaster.

The Israeli government has told 1.1 million civilians in northern Gaza to move south ahead of a ground offensive aimed at Hamas, which has killed more than 1,300 people in a series of attacks in Israel over the weekend.

In a statement late Saturday, the UK Foreign Office said officials were working with Egyptian authorities to arrange for British and dual nationals and their wives and children to leave Gaza via Rafah.

British nationals are being urged to travel south at the direction of the Israeli government, and messages have been sent to them to be alert if the crossing opens.

The statement said Mr Sunak had spoken to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi about the situation earlier this week, and that Foreign Secretary James had discreetly contacted his Egyptian counterpart, Sameh Shoukry.

“The UK remains committed to supporting British citizens in Israel and Gaza following this horrific terrorist attack by Hamas,” said Mr Wise.

“The safety of all British nationals is our priority and we urge everyone to continue to follow our advice and register their presence so we can be in touch.”

On Saturday, the US government said it was working with Egypt, Israel and Qatar to try to open the Rafah crossing for several hours to allow Palestinian-Americans to leave, but it was unclear if anyone succeeded. to do

A U.S. State Department spokesman said U.S. citizens were told to head to Rafah because “there may be very little notice if the crossing opens and it will only be open for a limited time.”

Three government chartered flights carrying British nationals have now left Israel and more are expected in the coming days, the Foreign Office said.

Several flights scheduled for earlier in the week were postponed due to problems obtaining insurance, PA reported.

King Abdullah’s office said his visit to London was part of a European tour aimed at “mobilizing international support to end the war on Gaza”.

He would travel to Rome, Berlin and Paris for meetings to discuss the “dangerous and deteriorating situation in Gaza” and “the need to provide humanitarian aid to the Palestinians”.

More on the Israel Gaza War

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