Thu. Feb 22nd, 2024

A DESPERATE attempt to free Brits trapped in Gaza is underway as UK officials fly out to Egypt to evacuate those who make it across the border.

Rishi Sunak said around 200 British citizens have contacted the Foreign Office in an urgent plea for help ahead of Israel’s ground invasion.

AFPPeople in Gaza search for survivors in the rubble after Israeli airstrikes[/caption]

Israeli forces have bombarded the strip with relentless airstrikes in an effort to destroy Hamas, killing thousands

ReutersOver 200 Brits have contacted the foreign office in a plea for help to flee the war-torn region[/caption]

The PM revealed today that officials “stand ready” to help them get home, but warned that the situation is complex amid high-running tensions in the region.

A swarm of Israeli tanks stormed into northern Gaza last night to “prepare the battlefield” as Netanyahu vowed to press ahead with the invasion, which could begin as early as this week.

Meanwhile Israeli forces have bombarded the strip with relentless airstrikes in an effort to attack Hamas, killing thousands.

The Rafah crossing between Gaza and Egypt is the only way to leave the Gaza strip, without crossing into Israel, by land.

It has been closed since Israel halted fuel, food and medicine entering the blockaded territory after Hamas terrorists stormed across the border and killed hundreds in a bloody massacre.

The border was only reopened for the first time last week to let limited aid trucks through, as Israel continues to blitz Gaza with airstrikes.

But the PM today said that Border Force officials are poised in Egypt to help, and “when the moment arises, we can take it quickly”.

A No10 spokesman told The Sun that getting Brits out of Gaza was something the PM had been “working on intensely over the last few days.”

“Alongside [supplying] aid, we also want to try and get our British nationals out of Gaza, for the hostages to be released,” Rishi said.

“We recognise that for all of that to happen, there needs to be a safer environment, which of course necessitates specific pauses, which are distinct from a ceasefire.

“And that is why we supported the resolution at the United Nations yesterday which, among many other things, mentioned that,” he said.

Michael Gove was today pictured leaving a COBRA meeting expected to discuss the rescue of British hostages.

Deputy PM Oliver Dowden previously said: “We will discuss the hostages and the wider situation in the region and will also discuss securing humanitarian aid.”

At least 12 Brits have been killed in the attacks and five are suspected to be among the hostages held by Hamas, Downing Street officials have said.

Israel’s invasion of Gaza could begin as early as this week after the US reportedly made a chilling request for more time to get its defences for American troops in place.

Benjamin Netanyahu claimed the IDF has already “eliminated thousands of terrorists” and several top commanders in Hamas.

He has also vowed to do everything in his power to return hostages back to their families before launching their ground offensive.

But as the conflict threatens to spread across the region, there are fears among some experts that it could spiral out into an all-out world war.

Last night’s raid is not the first time Israeli soldiers and tanks have entered Gaza since the October 7 attacks when Hamas gunmen poured into Israel, slaughtering 1,400 people and kidnapping hundreds more.

A series of lightning-fast Israeli incursions into the strip have taken place the past weeks to weaken Hamas’s defensive positions and clear a path for troops when the time comes.

Israel has already massed tanks, called up over 360,000 troops, and evacuated its own civilians from the border areas.

The Mega AgencyRishi Sunak said that officials are poised in Egypt to help Brits flee over the Rafah border[/caption]

EPAMeanwhile Israeli tanks and troops have already begun conducting raids inside Gaza as they prepare for a full ground invasion[/caption]

GettyFire caused by an Israeli airstrike at a Refugee Camp in Gaza City[/caption]

The Mega AgencyMichael Gove pictured leaving a COBRA meeting today expected to discuss the release of British hostages[/caption]

GettyUN workers pack medical aid and prepare it for distribution to hospitals in Gaza[/caption]

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