British teenage sisters ‘missing in Israel’ after Hamas attack

Noiya and Yahel are believed to be among the 10 British citizens missing since October 7

Holly Evans
Monday 16 October 2023 22:18 BST
Rishi Sunak tells Jewish students he 'stands with them' after Hamas attack on Israel

Two British teenage sisters are among those missing after last weekend’s attack on Israel by Hamas, according to reports.

Noiya, 16, and Yahel, 13, from Kibbutz Be’eri, have been missing since the incursion on 7 October, their family - who did not release the girls’ surnames - told the BBC.

Their mother Lianne, who was born in the UK, was murdered in the Hamas attack and their father Eli is also missing, the broadcaster said.

The British family of Lianne told the BBC she was "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 said.

Noiya and Yahel are both missing after the Hamas attack on Israel
Noiya and Yahel are both missing after the Hamas attack on Israel (BBC)

At least six Britons were killed in Hamas’s “pogrom” in Israel and a further 10 are missing, Rishi Sunak told MPs as he increased aid to the Palestinian people by a third.

The prime minister said on Monday the UK must “support absolutely Israel’s right to defend itself” as it targets Hamas and he 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 recounted that more than 1,400 people were killed, more than 3,500 wounded and almost 200 taken hostage in Hamas’s attack.

“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.”

Several communities in southern Israel came under attack
Several communities in southern Israel came under attack (Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

Mr Sunak said the “terrible nature of these attacks means it is proving difficult to identify many of the deceased” but at least six Britons are among those killed.

Of the further 10 missing, he said some are feared to be among the dead as the UK works with Israel to establish the facts and support the families through their “unimaginable pain”.

He said eight flights so far have brought back 500 British nationals from Israel, with more leaving in the coming hours.

Addressing the British Jewish community, Mr Sunak said: “We stand with you now and always. This atrocity was an existential strike at the very idea of Israel as a safe homeland for the Jewish people.”

Rishi Sunak referred to the attack as a ‘pogrom’
Rishi Sunak referred to the attack as a ‘pogrom’ (PA)

He also recognised that the Palestinian people are “victims of Hamas too” as he announced an extra £10m of aid funding, as concerns grow over the humanitarian crisis unfolding in Gaza.

He said Hamas is using Palestinians as human shields and 2,600 Palestinians have been killed since the fighting started, with Israel retaliating with airstrikes.

“We mourn the loss of every innocent life,” the prime minister said.

Echoing his statement, the leader of the opposition Sir Keir Starmer said: “Labour stands with Israel; Britain stands with Israel. Israel has the right to bring her people home, to defend herself, to keep its people safe.”

But he added: “Israel’s defence must be conducted in accordance with international law. Civilians must not be targeted, innocent lives must be protected. There must be humanitarian corridors. There must be humanitarian access, including food, water, electricity and medicines.”

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