British-Israeli female soldier heads to Israel to fight after 'friends murdered and missing' in Hamas attack

11 October 2023, 12:51 | Updated: 11 October 2023, 13:59

Moriah Mencer has flown to Israel
Moriah Mencer has flown to Israel. Picture: Instagram

By Kit Heren

A female British-Israeli soldier has flown out to Israel to fight against Hamas, after one of her friends was "murdered" in the attack over the weekend.

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Moriah Mencer, a former Israel Defence Forces soldier, said that other friends had gone missing in the attacks.

More than 2,000 Israelis and Palestinians have been killed in the fighting so far, which began when Hamas attacked the south of Israel on Saturday, killing hundreds.

Some 17 Britons are among the dead or missing in Israel, including children.

Israel has retaliated with heavy bombardment of Gaza, vowing to wipe out Hamas. The country is thought to be preparing a ground invasion of Gaza, which is densely populated.

Read more: Israel 'has the right' to withhold power and water from Gaza, says Sir Keir Starmer

Read more: Children among 17 Britons dead or missing in Israel following Hamas attacks

Moriah Mencer
Moriah Mencer. Picture: Instagram

Ms Mencer said in a video filmed from Heathrow: "We’ve rushed back to Israel because our friends are in very unfortunate situations.

"Some of my friends are missing. I’ve just found out that one of my friends has been murdered in her home two days ago.

"So we got the first flight we could."

She added that her flight had been delayed because of fighting near her destination airport in Israel.

All Israeli citizens - men and women - are required to do military training aged 18, subject to some exemptions.

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly told LBC on Tuesday that a 'significant number' of British-Israeli dual nationals had been caught up in the fighting.

Moriah Mencer
Moriah Mencer. Picture: Instagram

It has been confirmed that British victims include 20-year-old soldier Nathanel Young and Scottish grandfather Bernard Cowan.

British born woman Savion Kiper, 30, was also confirmed dead after the Palestinian militant group opened fire on crowds in the Negev desert on Saturday. Her fiancé, Dor Shafir, is still missing.

The family of Daniel Darlington have also said they believe he is among those killed while Jack Marlowe has been reported missing

Meanwhile several British people are stuck in Israel because of a lack of flights.

One woman, who gave her name only as Rachel, told LBC that she was stranded in Jerusalem with her family without a flight home.

She said she was afraid every time she went outside.

An Israeli army self-propelled howitzer fires rounds near the border with Gaza in southern Israel on October 11
An Israeli army self-propelled howitzer fires rounds near the border with Gaza in southern Israel on October 11. Picture: Getty

"You go in the street, you think any car that comes near you could be dangerous. You're thinking 'where can I hide'."

Rachel added that she hadn't had much support from the Foreign Office.

"They just say there's work going on behind the scenes," she said.

IDF reservist from London called up to fight in gaza speaks to LBC

She added that her nephew by marriage was working near the airport to identify dead bodies.

"They've just been butchered," she said.

The Foreign Office has advised against all but essential travel to Israel, and all travel to Gaza.

For more information see the Foreign Office's website.

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