British girl missing after Hamas attack confirmed dead, say family

Yahel, 13, was killed when Hamas attacked Israel, while her 16-year-old sister Noiya is missing.

David Hughes
Tuesday 17 October 2023 12:42 BST
A 13-year-old British girl is among those killed by Hamas during its attack on Israel, her family have confirmed (Ariel Schalit/AP)
A 13-year-old British girl is among those killed by Hamas during its attack on Israel, her family have confirmed (Ariel Schalit/AP) (AP)

A British teenager was among those murdered by Hamas during its attack on Israel.

Yahel, 13, was killed along with her mother, Lianne, while her elder sister, Noiya, 16, and her father, Eli, are still missing.

The teenager, whose family name has not been revealed, disappeared after militants attacked Kibbutz Be’eri and killed her British-born mother.

The 13-year-old’s death was confirmed by her family, the Israeli embassy in London said.

The development came as Foreign Office minister Andrew Mitchell said the Government is “extremely concerned” about British hostages being held by Hamas following the October 7 attacks and “we pray that they are alive”.

Up to 10 hostages are feared to have been taken and Mr Mitchell promised the UK is doing “everything” possible to rescue them.

On Monday, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak told MPs that at least six British citizens were killed, with a further 10 missing, some of whom were feared to be among the dead.

Mr Mitchell told BBC Breakfast: “We mourn the six British hostages we know who have died and we are extremely concerned about the fate and the state of the other 10.”

He told Sky News: “We pray that they are alive.”

Mr Mitchell was unable to elaborate on the efforts to secure their release, but insisted to LBC: “The entire resources of the British Government are involved in doing everything we can to get our citizens back.”

At least 1,400 people were killed, many of them civilians, and thousands more injured in Hamas’s attack.

More than 2,700 Palestinians have died as Israel launched air strikes on Gaza and cut off fuel, water, food and medical supplies from entering the cramped territory, which is home to more than two million people.

British officials are working to secure the opening of the Rafah crossing to allow Britons to flee to Egypt and for humanitarian aid to get into Gaza.

On Israel’s role, Mr Mitchell told Times Radio: “It’s both a moral and a practical responsibility. We stand absolutely foursquare behind Israel’s right to defend itself, but all of us want to see the fighting contained.”

Britain was urging Israel to restore the supply of water to Gaza, and refusing to say whether its ally is complying with international law during its siege.

The Prime Minister said talks are ongoing with Israel as the UK is “keen to see water restored”, as he declined to say whether Israel had kept within legal limits.

“We continue to urge Israel as a democracy we work closely with to act within international law in their actions, I think they are taking steps to do that,” he said.

Mr Mitchell told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that US President Joe Biden’s visit to Israel could be a “significant fillip” to getting humanitarian relief through.

Mr Biden was travelling to Israel and Jordan on Wednesday amid concerns the Israel-Hamas conflict could spiral into a wider regional issue.

As well as his talks in Israel, the US president will meet King Abdullah of Jordan, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Israeli air strikes continued early on Tuesday, even inside the evacuation zone where Israel had told residents to gather in advance of the expected ground assault on Gaza.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in