Foreign secretary James Cleverly forced to run for cover after Hamas rocket alarms set off in Israel

11 October 2023, 16:04 | Updated: 11 October 2023, 16:27

Cleverly was forced to run for cover amid fears of a Hamas rocket attack
Cleverly was forced to run for cover amid fears of a Hamas rocket attack. Picture: Alamy/Twitter

By Will Taylor

James Cleverly has been forced to run for cover after rocket alarms went off during a visit to southern Israel in the wake of Hamas's massacre.

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The foreign secretary was filmed running into a building in Ofakim with a crowd of people as sirens warned of a rocket attack.

Israel's official Twitter account said it was the "reality" its people live with every day.

Cleverly had been visiting Israel to show solidarity with the country after more than 1,000 of its citizens were killed by Hamas terrorists.

He was visiting the south of the country when the alert blared out, and was expected to speak to survivors of the atrocity.

The Foreign Office said earlier his visit was designed to display "unwavering solidarity with the Israeli people".

"He will be meeting survivors of the attacks and senior Israeli leaders to outline UK support for Israel's right to defend itself," it added.

The official Twitter account for Israel, which is managed by the country's foreign affairs ministry, filmed him running into a building with another man running close to him as others follow.

Ofakim, which has a population over 30,000, was attacked by Hamas terrorists on Saturday and was cleared by security forces on Sunday.

Hamas has continued to fire rockets at Israel
Hamas has continued to fire rockets at Israel. Picture: Alamy

While Israel has reclaimed its towns, Hamas has continued to launch rockets, and Israel is retaliating by unleashing air strikes on the Gaza strip.

A ground invasion is expected after reservists were called up from among the Israeli Defence Forces' (IDF) vast reserves of part time soldiers.

But the attack is expected to be bloody in the densely populated and heavily urbanised Gaza strip.

Israel has vowed to eliminate Hamas's ability to attack its citizens.

Read more: BA flight to Israel forced to turn back to London after Hamas fires rockets near Tel Aviv

Jonathan Conricus, a spokesman for the IDF, said the military is preparing "to execute the mission we have been given by the Israeli government… to make sure that Hamas, at the end of this war, won't have any military capabilities by which they can threaten or kill Israeli civilians".

Meanwhile, the King's spokesman said the monarch was appalled by the loss of life.

"This is a situation His Majesty is extremely concerned about and he has asked to be kept actively updated," the spokesman said.

"His thoughts and prayers are with all of those suffering, particularly those who have lost loved ones, but also those actively involved as we speak."

He added: "His Majesty is appalled by and condemns the barbaric acts of terrorism in Israel."

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