The United Kingdom is set to deploy surveillance aircraft and two Royal Navy ships to the eastern Mediterranean to support Israel, according to a statement from No. 10 Downing Street. Scheduled to commence patrols on Friday, the aircraft will focus on tracking potential threats to regional stability, including the transfer of weapons to terrorist organizations.
The comprehensive package includes various surveillance assets, helicopters, P8 aircraft, and a contingent of marines. Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak emphasized that this military support is designed to prevent further escalation of the conflict. British armed forces will be on standby to provide practical assistance to Israel and its regional partners, offering both deterrence and assurance, as per Downing Street.
Under the initiative, a Royal Navy task group will be deployed to the region next week to support humanitarian efforts. Prime Minister Boris Johnson stressed the government’s unequivocal commitment to preventing the recurrence of the “horrific scenes” witnessed in Israel. He highlighted the necessity of ensuring security reestablishment and facilitating the delivery of humanitarian aid to the numerous innocent victims affected by the Hamas terrorist attack. Sunak also called for reinforcing military teams in Israel, Cyprus, and surrounding areas to bolster contingency planning efforts.
Hamas initiated an unprecedented attack on southern Israel, resulting in the deaths of at least 1,300 people and the taking of approximately 150 hostages in Gaza. Israel responded with retaliatory airstrikes, causing over 1,300 casualties in Gaza.
Defence Secretary Grant Shapps stated that the military aid signifies the UK’s unwavering determination to thwart Hamas’s terrorist campaign. Meanwhile, the Foreign Office has initiated efforts to arrange flights for stranded British nationals in Israel. The first plane is expected to depart from Tel Aviv on Thursday, with additional flights planned in the coming days, contingent on security assessments.