Defence Secretary says Hamas hostages highly likely to include Brits

Grant Shapps admits it’s ‘highly likely’ Britons are being held hostage in Gaza

The Government believes it is “highly likely” that UK citizens are among those callously taken as hostages by Hamas terrorists.

Defence Secretary Grant Shapps made the admission in an interview with Sky News this morning, where he detailed the likelihood of Brits being dragged into the Gaza Strip following the bloody infiltration of Israel by terrorist fighters.

Hostage victims have been held for nearly a week – after the terrorists unleashed their devastating attack last Saturday.

Mr Shapps added there may also be more Britons in Gaza, who were already there prior to the war starting.

“It seems very likely that there are [Britons among the hostages], we don’t have exact data on that for obvious reasons.

“But in Gaza there will also be Brits or possibly people with dual nationalities as well,”

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He said Rishi Sunak has spoken to the Egyptian President about using the Egyptian-Gaza border to get Brits out.

“You’re right to say the situation is far from clear, it’s one of the reasons – as I said before – we sent additional intelligence personnel in order to assist with exactly those types of operations.”

The ominous confession came just minutes after Israel’s military directed the immediate evacuation of Northern Gaza, warning its 1.1 million inhabitants to relocate to the south of the territory over the next 24 hours.

Israel’s directive said Gaza City residents should evacuate “for their own safety and protection”, adding they believe members of Hamas to be hiding in tunnels under the city.

Hamas has now called on Palestinians to stay in their homes and ignore the order.

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Grant Shapps said Hamas’s demands for residents to stay put is an attempt to use them as “human shields”.

“Israel, unlike Hamas… is doing all it can to provide advance warning in order that they can go after those terrorists who carried out those actions”.

“Hamas can bring all of this two an end, they can release the hostages they can recognise not Israel, but can remove from their founding charter the principle of eradicating all Jews from the Earth, which is Hamas’ purpose.”

“Israel has a perfect right to defend itself, it is doing that in a manner that involves giving people warning in advance when they’re going to go after an area where Hamas are known to be.”

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