Sunak confirms six Britons killed and 10 missing in Israel as hundreds airlifted home

Rishi Sunak

Rishi Sunak has confirmed the death toll of British citizens in Israel

Parliament TV
Millie Cooke

By Millie Cooke

Published: 16/10/2023

- 15:53

Updated: 16/10/2023

- 16:39

Addressing the House of Commons, the Prime Minister said: 'We should call it by its name: it was a pogrom'

Rishi Sunak has confirmed that six British citizens have been killed and 10 are missing in Israel, after Hamas' terror attack.

Giving a statement in the House of Commons, the Prime Minister described the attack as a "pogrom", confirming that as many as 500 people have been airlifted out of the warzone.

He said: “The attacks in Israel last weekend shocked the world. Over 1,400 people murdered one by one, over 3,500 wounded, almost 200 taken hostage.”

Sunak went on: “We should call it by its name: it was a pogrom.

“The families of some of the missing are in the public gallery today. We call for the immediate release of all hostages and I say to them: we stand with you. We stand with Israel.

“The murdered and the missing come from over 30 countries, including the United Kingdom.

“The terrible nature of these attacks means it is proving difficult to identify many of the deceased but with a heavy heart I can inform the House that at least six British citizens were killed.

“A further 10 are missing, some of whom are feared to be among the dead.”

Addressing the situation of British nationals in Israel, Sunak told the Commons: “We’ve organised eight flights so far, bringing out over 500 people, with more flights leaving today.

“We are working with neighbouring countries on land evacuations for our citizens in Gaza and the West Bank.”

He said he has spoken to Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi about “supporting civilians to leave Gaza by the Rafah border crossing”, adding that a border force team is in Egypt to help citizens when they are able to cross.”

While Sunak said the UK is not " engaging in fighting or an offensive in Gaza", he confirmed that Britain will increase its presence to "prevent broader regional instability at this dangerous moment.”

He announced that the UK will increase its aid to Palestine by a third, pledging an extra £10 million of support.

The PM described the situation as an "acute humanitarian crisis" to which "we must respond".

He added: “We must support the Palestinian people because they are victims of Hamas too. ,

"Like our allies, we believe that Hamas does not represent the Palestinian people or their legitimate aspirations to live with equal measures of security, freedom, justice, opportunity and dignity."


Keir Starmer

Starmer said it is crucial the House of Commons speaks 'with one voice' in condemnation of terror and in its support for Israel


Sunak said “all the tools of British diplomacy” will be used to “sustain the prospects of peace and stability” in the region, adding the UK is increasing its regional engagement.

Responding, Leader of the Opposition Sir Keir Starmer said it is crucial the House of Commons speaks “with one voice” in condemnation of terror and in its support for Israel.

The Labour leader told MPs: “As in any time of grave crisis, it is crucial that this House speaks with one voice in condemnation of terror, in support for Israel in its time of agony and for the dignity of all human life.”

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