Foreign Secretary James Cleverly has condemned “horrific” attacks by Palestinian militants from the Gaza Strip in southern Israel.

Militant group Hamas this morning sent fighters across the border and fired thousands of rockets into Israel in what it said was a new operation.

At least 22 people have been killed in a Hamas incursion, the Israeli rescue service has confirmed.

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the country was “at war” and the country's military has already begun striking targets in Gaza in response.

Israel has blockaded Gaza since Islamic militant group Hamas gained control of the territory in 2007 and the two have fought wars ever since.

This latest attack looks to have set the stage for a new heavy round of fighting between the bitter enemies.

UK foreign secretary and Prime Minister condemn "horrific" attacks

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly took to social media following the attacks to codmn the "horrific" actions of the Palestinian militants.

Mr Cloverly on X (formerly Twitter) said: “The UK unequivocally condemns the horrific attacks by Hamas on Israeli civilians.

“The UK will always support Israel’s right to defend itself.”

While Prime Minister Rishi Sunak added that Israel has "an absolute right to defend itself"

Mr Sunak said: "I am shocked by this morning’s attacks by Hamas terrorists against Israeli citizens.

“Israel has an absolute right to defend itself.

“We’re in contact with Israeli authorities, and British nationals in Israel should follow travel advice.”

Brits advised again travelling to Israel

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) has advised against all but essential travel to the following areas of Israel:

  • Areas north of and including Jenin city, Burqin and Arranah in the north of the West Bank (this includes Jenin refugee camp and all areas north of this until the Jalamah checkpoint for access to Israel)
  • The city of Nablus, Joseph’s Tomb, and the Balata and New Askar refugee camps near Nablus and the village of Huwara, south of Nablus

While the FCDO also advises against travel to: 

  • Gaza
  • The Sheba’a Farms and Ghajjar
  • Within 500m of the border with Lebanon (the ‘Blue Line’) east of Metula, including the northern edge of the town and and within 500m of the border with Syria (the ‘Alpha Line’)

The FCDO added: "The security situation in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories can be fast moving, tense and unpredictable. You should be vigilant at all times and keep up to date with local media and travel reports.

What happens if you miss your flight due to airport delays?

"Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories. Attacks could be indiscriminate, including places visited by foreigners including the Old City in Jerusalem, on public transport, and in busy public spaces. See Terrorism

"There have been repeated instances of rocket fire from Gaza, which may occur well beyond the Gaza border area; Israel has often responded with air strikes into Gaza.

"Make sure you know the safety actions that you should take if an Israeli warning siren sounds, follow advice from local authorities and stay informed of the security situation through the media and this travel advice."

It also reported violent incidents, political demonstrations and increased tension with neighbouring countries. 

For more travel information and advice visit the FCDO website.