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British Sisters Missing After Hamas Attack On Israel

Image caption, Yahel, left, Noiya, right, and their mother Lianne

By Lucy Manning & Oliver Slow

BBC News

Two British teenage sisters are among those missing after last weekend’s Hamas attack on Israel.

The family of Noiya, 16, and Yahel, 13, say the sisters are from Kibbutz Be’eri.

Their mother Lianne, who was born in the UK, was murdered in the 7 October attack, it was confirmed on Sunday night.

The family has not released the girls’ surname.

The British family of their mother said she was “a beloved daughter, sister, mother, aunt and friend who enriched the lives of all those lucky enough to have known and loved her”.

“She lived a beautiful life and will be sorely missed by the heartbroken family and friends she leaves behind.”

Their father, Eli, is also missing.

Sharon, a relative, told the BBC that Noiya is always happy and loves to cook, while Yahel is “funny, all the time. She likes to hear music, singing for us, dancing.”

He said he hoped “to find any sign of life of [Lianne’s] daughters”.

He added: “It is difficult for me to talk about Lianne in the past. It is necessary to be strong for the family. We are strong. We will rebuild.”

On Monday, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said six British citizens had been killed in the attacks, and a further 10 were missing.

In a statement to MPs, Mr Sunak called for the immediate release of the 199 people taken hostage.

With the families of some of the missing watching the session in Parliament, Mr Sunak said the “terrible nature of these attacks means it is proving difficult to identify many of the deceased” but that at least six Britons were killed.

Of the further 10 missing, he said some are feared to be among the dead, and the UK was working with Israel to establish the facts and support the families through their “unimaginable pain”.

He said eight flights so far have brought back 500 British nationals from Israel, with more expected to leave on Monday.

At least 1,400 Israelis were killed, many of them civilians, in the Hamas attack when gunmen infiltrated communities near the Gaza Strip in the early hours of 7 October.

More than 2,700 Palestinians have been killed in numerous air strikes against Gaza by the Israeli military, which is also blocking fuel, water, food and medical supplies from entering the territory.