The press release issued by the Foreign Office on 12 October 2023.
Foreign Secretary James Cleverly announces that the UK will facilitate flights to help British citizens wanting to leave Israel.
- Foreign Secretary announces that the UK is set to facilitate flights to help British citizens wanting to leave Israel
- the first flight is expected to leave Tel Aviv today (Thursday). Further flights are planned in the coming days, subject to the security situation on the ground
- the UK has also sent a Rapid Deployment Team to Israel to assist British citizens on the ground
The UK government will facilitate commercial flights to the UK to help British nationals wanting to leave Israel following the Hamas attack, the Foreign Secretary has announced.
The first flight is due to depart from Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv today (Thursday 12 October).
Vulnerable British nationals will be prioritised for these flights. At this stage we will contact those who are eligible for the flights directly and British nationals should not make their way to the airport unless they are called.
Since Hamas’ terrorist attack on Israel, UK government officials have been working around the clock in London, Jerusalem and Tel Aviv to support British citizens in the country. A Rapid Deployment Team has also been sent to Israel to bolster the efforts of British consular officials.
The safety of all British nationals in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs) continues to be our utmost priority and we urge everyone to continue to follow our travel advice. Those in Israel and the OPTs, including Gaza, are advised to register their presence with the Foreign Office. The FCDO continues to advise against all travel to parts of Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, and to advise against all but essential travel to all other parts.
Foreign Secretary James Cleverly visited Israel yesterday (Wednesday) to reiterate the UK’s unwavering solidarity with the Israeli people following Hamas’ terrorist attacks. He met senior Israeli leaders to outline UK support for Israel’s right to defend itself.
- British nationals, including dual nationals, and dependants if travelling with a British national normally resident in the UK, will be invited to take up seats on the flights.
- these are paid commercial flights – our standard procedure. Each ticket will cost £300. This reflects the costs of operating the flight only
- the children and other dependants of British diplomats will also be given seats, as we have a duty of care to our staff
- while it is our intention to run these flights, security considerations will always be paramount
- in addition to our travel advice for Israel and the OPTs, we also advise against all travel to parts of Lebanon