UK orders diplomats’ families to leave Israel over security concerns

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The British government on Thursday ordered families of its diplomats in Israel to leave the country as a “precautionary measure” following attacks by the Palestinian group Hamas, leading Israel to declare war and order a siege on Gaza.

The British foreign office said in a statement that its diplomats would remain on active duty in the country.

“We are temporarily drawing down dependents of staff at our Embassy in Tel Aviv and our Consulate in Jerusalem as a precautionary measure,” the statement said.

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“Our Embassy and Consulate remain fully staffed and continue to provide consular services to those who require assistance.”

The British government has advised against all non-essential travel to Israel, and the foreign office said it had made its decision about the dependents of diplomats “in line” with that advice.

British airlines including British Airways, easyJet and Virgin Atlantic have suspended flights between the United Kingdom and Israel citing security concerns.

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