A young British man serving in the Israeli army has been killed in an attack by Hamas militants on the Gaza border, his family have said. Nathanel Young, 20, was one of the 26 soldiers who died in the invasion that started on Saturday.
Who was Nathanel Young?
- Nathanel Young was a former pupil at JFS Jewish school in Kenton, north London.
- He had been living in the Bayit Shel Benji lone-soldier house in Raanana, a city in central Israel.
- He was serving with the Israeli Defence Services (IDF) as a combat soldier.
- His family described him as their “little brother” and said they were “heartbroken” by his death.
What happened on the Gaza border?
- On Saturday, Hamas launched an unprecedented attack on Israel, firing hundreds of rockets and sending commandos through tunnels under the border.
- Israel responded with air strikes and ground troops, aiming to destroy the tunnels and stop the rocket fire.
- The fighting has been the most intense since the 2014 Gaza war, which lasted for 50 days and killed more than 2,000 Palestinians and 73 Israelis.
- The current conflict has claimed the lives of at least 600 people, including 26 Israeli soldiers and more than 500 Palestinians, mostly civilians.
How did the UK react to the attack?
- The UK government expressed its support for Israel’s right to self-defence and condemned Hamas’ actions as “terrorist attacks”.
- Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said he was “deeply concerned” by the escalation of violence and urged both sides to work towards a ceasefire.
- Transport Secretary Mark Harper said the UK would support Israel in whatever it decided to do to defend its country against Hamas.
- Foreign Affairs Committee chairwoman Alicia Kearns blamed Iran for supporting Hamas and called for the proscription of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), which she described as Iran’s “international terror tool”.
Is there another British citizen missing in Gaza?
- According to Israeli media reports, another British citizen, Jake Marlow, 20, is missing after providing security at a music festival near Kibbutz Re’im, close to the Gaza border.
- Marlow, who went to the same school as Young, is reported to have moved to Israel two years ago and joined a volunteer security group.
- His mother Lisa said he called her early on Saturday morning to say he was OK, but she has not heard from him since then.
- Israeli ambassador to the UK Tzipi Hotovely confirmed that a British citizen “is in Gaza” following kidnappings by Hamas, but did not clarify if they were being held hostage or not.
What are the prospects for peace?
- The international community has been calling for an immediate end to the hostilities and a return to negotiations based on a two-state solution.
- The UN Security Council held an emergency meeting on Sunday, but failed to agree on a joint statement calling for a ceasefire.
- US President Joe Biden spoke to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas on Saturday, expressing his concern about the situation and urging them to de-escalate tensions.
- However, Netanyahu said Israel was at “war” with Hamas and vowed to continue the operation until it achieved its goals.