British teen missing after Hamas attack is dead, family say

Yahel’s mother Lianne was also killed in Hamas’s attack while her sister Noiya and father Eli remain missing

Matt Mathers
Tuesday 17 October 2023 14:55 BST
Six British citizens killed in Israel-Hamas conflict and 10 missing, says Sunak

A British teenager who went missing during Hamas’s attack on Israel was murdered, it has been confirmed.

Yahel, 13, disappeared after militants attacked Kibbutz Be’eri and killed her British-born mother Lianne.

Her family members have confirmed to the Israeli embassy in London that Yahel was also killed. Noiya, 16 and her Israeli father Eli are still missing.

They have decided not to release the girls’ surname.

The British family of Lianne previously described her as "a beloved daughter, sister, mother, aunt and friend who enriched the lives of all those lucky enough to have known and loved her".

"She lived a beautiful life and will be sorely missed by the heartbroken family and friends she leaves behind," they told the BBC.

On Monday Rishi Sunak said that “at least six” Britons had been killed in Hamas’s attack while a further 10 remain missing. It was not immediately clear if Yahel was among the six. The Foreign Office has been contacted for comment.

The prime minister described the attack as a “pogrom”.

He said he had increased aid to the Palestinian people by a third and reiterated that the UK must “support absolutely Israel’s right to defend itself” as it targets Hamas.

He also called for the immediate release of the around 200 hostages taken by the militant group.

With the families of some of the missing watching his statement in parliament, Mr Sunak told MPs that more than 1,400 people were killed, more than 3,500 wounded and almost 200 taken hostage in Hamas’s attack.

Yahel (L) with her mother who was also murdered in the attack (C) and her sister Noiya (R) who remains missing (Family hand out)

“The elderly, men, women, children, babes in arms, murdered, mutilated, burned alive,” he continued. “We should call it by its name: it was a pogrom.”

Speaking to broadcasters on Tuesday morning, a minister said the government was doing “everything we possibly can” to secure the release of 10 British hostages being held by Hamas.

“We don’t know where they are and we are thinking of them all the time. And of course we are strongly supporting the attempt by Israel to find them and release them,” Foreign Office minister Andrew Mitchell told BBC Breakfast.

“The British government will do everything we possibly can to get them back, as soon as we possibly can.

“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.”

President Joe Biden (left) was invited to visit Israel by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (right) (Getty Images)

Meanwhile, the White House announced on Monday night that Joe Biden would travel to Israel on Wednesday to show US support for the Middle East country.

The president is also expected to plead with military leaders there to avoid civilian casualties ahead of an expected Israel offensive into Gaza.

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu said over the weekend that the tens of thousands of heavily armed soldiers surrounding the border with Gaza were “ready” for war.

But for the past four days, since the first evacuation order was handed down to Palestinians to head southward towards Egypt, a major offensive has not materalised.

Following another late night meeting in Tel Aviv, the US secretary of state said that Mr Biden would visit on Wednesday to “hear from Israel what it needs to defend its people as we continue to work with Congress to meet those needs”.

Biden will also travel to Jordan to meet with Arab leaders amid fears that the fighting could expand into a broader regional conflict.

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