A UK government minister said on Monday that some 100 British nationals had crossed the border from Gaza to Egypt through the Rafah crossing, and that 14 UK citizens had lost their lives as a result of the fighting between Israel and Hamas.
Energy Security Secretary Claire Coutinho stated that there were also “three British nationals who are unaccounted for,” however she clarified that this did not “necessarily mean that they are hostages, but at the moment we’re not sure where they are.”
The Rafah border crossing opened on Wednesday, allowing a trickle of wounded Palestinians and people with dual nationality to leave, all desperate to escape Israel’s bombardment of Gaza, which is run by Hamas.
Egypt has said it would help evacuate 7,000 foreigners through the crossing.
But Hamas said late on Saturday that the evacuation of dual nationals and foreigners was being suspended until Israel allows some wounded Palestinians to reach Rafah so they can cross for hospital treatment.
The total number the UK is trying to secure passage for is thought to be in the low hundreds.
As many as 200 British nationals and their dependents in Gaza are registered with the authorities to leave.
Britain’s foreign ministry, meanwhile, said some embassy staff and family members had been temporarily withdrawn from Lebanon due to the “security situation” in the region.
“There are ongoing mortar and artillery exchanges and air strikes in South Lebanon, on the boundary with Israel. Tensions are high and events could escalate with little warning,” it said.