Six Brits dead and ten missing in Hamas ‘pogrom’

The Prime Minister told British Jews he was “sickened” by the rise in threats they face following the atrocities carried out by Hamas, and vowed to stand by them “always”.

He told the House of Commons: “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.”

Hard-left MPs accused the Israeli government of “war crimes” for its response to the massacres that left thousands dead or injured.

But Mr Sunak said that “Hamas and Hamas alone” is responsible and insisted it was “absolutely” Israel’s right to defend itself.

The PM told Israelis: “We stand with you now and always. This atrocity was an existential strike at the very idea of Israel as a safe homeland for the Jewish people.

“I understand why it has shaken you to your core, and I am sickened that anti-Semitic incidents have increased since the attack.

“We are doing everything we can to protect you.”

Mr Sunak said the terror attack on Israel was a “pogrom” – a massacre of Jews – and insisted Britain will not waver in its support for the state and its people.

He added: “We call for the immediate release of all hostages and I say to them, we stand with you. We stand with Israel.”

READ MORE: Ex-Israeli general says his ‘heart bleeds for Palestinians’ – slams Netanyahu

The families of some of the Brits still missing in the chaos since the attacks were in the public gallery of the House of Commons watching the statement. Some of those who are not yet accounted for are feared to be among the dead.

The UK is working with Israel to establish the facts and support the families through their “unimaginable pain”.

The BBC said two teenagers were among the list of missing British nationals following the Hamas attacks. They are sisters Noiya, 13, and Yahel, 16. Their surname has not been released.

The family believe they were kidnapped from Kibbutz Be’eri and taken into Gaza.

Last night it was confirmed that their mother Lianne, who is British and was born in the UK, was murdered by Hamas. Soldier Benjamin Trakeniski, 32, is the latest Brit to be confirmed as among the dead.

The British-Israeli citizen was off duty when he died helping rescue people from Be’eri – one of the first Kibbutz communities armed militants stormed and turned into a bloodbath.

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Mr Sunak said eight flights so far have brought back 500 British nationals from Israel, with more leaving in the coming hours.

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

Confirming the news about the six British citizens who were killed, he added: “A further 10 are missing, some of whom are feared to be among the dead.” Mr Sunak earlier expressed his condolences for the deaths of Palestinian civilians in a call with Mahmoud Abbas.

He told the president of the Palestinian Authority the UK’s position is that Hamas does not speak for ordinary Palestinians.

The PM announced a further £10million in humanitarian aid would be provided to civilians in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, on top of the £27million existing funding from this year.

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He said: “An acute humanitarian crisis is unfolding to which we must respond, we must support, because they are victims of Hamas too.”

He insisted “we stand with British Muslim communities too” following heightened tensions in the wake of the attacks.

But he warned that anyone taking to the streets in support of Hamas will face prosecution.

He said: “We are working with the police to ensure that hate crime and the glorification of terror is met with the full force of the law.”

Over the course of the two-hour discussion in the Commons, a number of hard-left Labour MPs faced heckles and cries of “shame” as they attacked Israel.

Richard Burgon, Labour MP for Leeds East, said Palestinians are being subject to “collective punishment”, which he said is a war crime.

Backbencher Imran Hussain said the Israeli government is “laying siege” to civilians in Gaza by cutting food, water, power and medical supplies in “clear violation” of international law.

Red paint could be seen on the gates of a Jewish primary school in north London last night.

Beis Chinuch Lebonos Girls’ School in Woodberry Down was splattered with the paint in an incident that is being treated as a hate crime by the Metropolitan Police.

Officers patrolled the area outside the school.

Meanwhile, Mr Sunak yesterday wrote and sent a message for Israel as part of a support letter scheme at a North London school.

He later talked to staff and students.

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