British unarmed surveillance aircraft will be deployed to Gaza following the end of the Qatari-Egyptian brokered temporary ceasefire between Hamas and Israel.
British non-combatant surveillance aircraft will be deployed over Israeli and Palestinian airspaces.
In a press release published on Saturday, the UK’s Ministry of Defence said that in “support” of the ongoing captive rescue missions, the aircraft “will be tasked solely to locate [captives].”
On October 15, the British Defence Journal, a publication covering news of the UK’s defence industry, posted via X that British surveillance aircraft were detected patrolling Gaza, Lebanon and Israel.
This also follows news from November 3 that America’s Pentagon had dispatched unmanned aerial vehicles over Gaza, “to support [their] Israeli partner as they work on their hostage recovery efforts”, a BBC report said.
In a post via X, British-Iraqi political activist, Lowkey, said the UK MoD’s latest move was bolstering Israel.
The MoD’s announcement comes after the end of a ceasefire in Gaza between Israel and Hamas ending.
Reports from Al Jazeera indicate that the week-long truce had hit an “impasse” on Friday.
According to ReliefWeb, a subsidiary of the United Nations’ Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UN OCHA), Israel has since resumed its air, land and sea bombardment of Gaza, including targeting Jabalia refugee camp and a residential area in the Ash Sheja’iyeh neighbourhood of Gaza city.
In a Qatari Ministry of Foreign Affairs communique published via X on Friday, Mohammed bin Abdulaziz Al-Khulaifi, Qatar’s State Minister, expressed to Paul Soler, France’s Presidential Advisor, that “the continued bombing of the Gaza Strip after the end of the pause complicates mediation efforts and exacerbates the humanitarian catastrophe in the Strip”.
The Palestinian media office said at least 700 Palestinians were killed in 24 hours, between December 1 and 2.
During the temporary ceasefire, 110 captives were freed by Hamas in exchange for 240 Palestinian women and child prisoners released by Israel.
According to Hamas, negotiations to release further captives will not resume until the bombardment of Gaza ceases.
“Our official stance is there will be no further prisoner swap until the war ends,” Saleh al-Arouri, a senior Hamas leader, said to Al Jazeera.
“Israeli prisoners will not be released until our [Palestinian] prisoners are liberated and after a ceasefire comes into effect,” he added.