Britain arranges flights for delayed Britons in Israel

The UK is arranging flights to evacuate British nationals from Israel, according to the Foreign Office.

The first flight was anticipated to depart Tel Aviv on Thursday, with additional flights scheduled in the following days, pending security. 

Those who are permitted to depart will be contacted directly, and British nationals should not report to airports unless instructed to do so.

A diplomatic team has been dispatched to Israel to aid passengers flying to the United Kingdom.

The Foreign Office stated that it is working to expedite the flight's departure. The British government stated earlier this week that it would not organize evacuation flights because there were still commercial routes available.

In recent days, however, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, EasyJet, Ryanair, Wizz Air, Air France, Lufthansa, and Emirates all suspended flights. The Foreign Office will charter the flights, but they are commercial services. Each passenger will incur a $300 fee.

A statement indicated that British nationals, including dual nationals, and dependents traveling with a British national ordinarily residing in the United Kingdom would be permitted to occupy seats.

All seats for the first flight have been allocated, according to sources. 

Text messages have been sent out to those who will be traveling on the flight. Several nations, including Canada, France, Italy, and Poland, have already completed flights to bring citizens home from Israel.

The majority of airlines ceased direct flights between Israel and the United Kingdom earlier this week, and British Airways and Virgin Atlantic terminated the last remaining daily service on Thursday after a BA flight was compelled to return due to security concerns.

It has made it difficult to obtain reservations for the few remaining commercial flights. Thursday, the Foreign Office verified that British diplomats' families were leaving Israel as a "precautionary measure."

It emphasized that the embassy in Israel continued to operate and that British nationals could seek consular assistance.

According to a spokesperson for the Foreign Office, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCDO) continues to advise against all travel to some sections of Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories, as well as advising against travel to all other parts unless it is absolutely necessary.

In the meantime, Downing Street announced that the United Kingdom will send surveillance aircraft and two Royal Navy ships to the eastern Mediterranean "to support Israel."

According to the plans, a Royal Navy task group will relocate to the area the following week to assist with humanitarian efforts. At least 100 "reservists and active duty personnel" are believed to have traveled from the United Kingdom to Israel in order to serve in the Israel Defense Forces. 

The Israeli government has signaled that it is preparing to commence a ground military operation inside Gaza in response to Hamas' weekend attacks that resulted in 1,300 deaths.

Authorities report that more than 1,300 people have been slain in Gaza since Israel launched retaliatory airstrikes, and that 338,000 people have been displaced.

According to sources, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak called on Egypt's President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi to keep its crossing with Gaza open for humanitarian and consular reasons.