UK’s Cleverly takes shelter as siren goes off during Israel visit

LONDON (Reuters) – British foreign minister James Cleverly took shelter as a siren went off during his visit to Israel on Wednesday, a video clip posted on social media by the Israeli foreign ministry showed.

Cleverly, who is visiting Israel to show solidarity following attacks by Palestinian militant group Hamas, could be seen running into a building in Ofakim in southern Israel.

A siren, which the ministry said warned of incoming Hamas rocket fire, rang out in the background.

“Today I’ve seen a glimpse of what millions experience every day. The threat of Hamas rockets lingers over every Israeli man, woman and child,” Cleverly said in a post on social media.

“This is why we are standing shoulder to shoulder with Israel.”

A British Foreign Office spokesperson said Cleverly met survivors of the attacks and senior Israeli leaders to outline Britain’s support for Israel’s right to defend itself.

They discussed the United Kingdom and Israel’s ongoing security, military and diplomatic cooperation.

Cleverly visited Tel Aviv, Jerusalem and southern Israel, the Foreign Office said.

Britain, along with its Western allies, has expressed steadfast support for Israel and condemned the attacks by Hamas.

Earlier the BBC reported 17 British nationals, including children, were dead or missing in Israel.

(Reporting by William James, writing by Sachin Ravikumar, Editing by Kylie MacLellan)