Following the terrorist attacks on Israel this weekend, Matthew has met with Foreign Secretary James Cleverley on behalf of constituents who are in the country. Many have talked about their experiences of waiting in missile shelters in Tel Aviv and elsewhere as rockets launched from Gaza could be heard exploding nearby.
Matthew was about to board a flight to Tel Aviv as the attacks were reported on Saturday morning but it was concluded that the presence of a party of British MPs would only increase the security burden and the visit was aborted.
Those constituents who are already in Israel should advise the Foreign Office by completing the following form:
British nationals requiring consular assistance should call the following numbers: +972 (0)3 725 1222 or +972 (2) 5414100.
If you experience technical difficulties with these, or if you are in the UK and concerned about family and friends in Israel, call +44 20 7008 5000.
Any constituents who remain in Israel should follow the instructions of the Israeli Home Front Command.
The FCDO is providing a UK-sponsored flight to help British nationals leave Israel. Vulnerable British nationals will be prioritised for these flights. After this, seats will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.
It is vitally important that British nationals register with the FCDO. If they have not done so already, they should ASAP:
Some constituents have advised that their commercial flight to return to the UK have been cancelled. Many airlines have cancelled or re-arranged schedules for flights into Israel. EasyJet suspended flights on 8th and 9th October and continued this until the 13th October but British Airways transported half of its scheduled flights on the same days and El Al continues to operate as normal.
As it stands, Israeli airspace remains open and Ben-Gurion Airport is open and functioning. The Foreign Office is working with the Department for Transport and the Israeli government to keep commercial flights running.
Travel to Israel
The Israeli government has declared a state of emergency across the whole country and the UK Foreign Office has now advised that people should not travel to the country for anything but essential purposes.
Matthew says: "The horrific events in Israel have directly impacted many of you. I have spent the weekend speaking to people in Tel Aviv and contacting the Foreign Office on their behalf. Given that I was minutes away from boarding a flight myself, the situation is very raw.
"I strongly urge those in Israel to register with the Foreign Office, check whether their return flight is scheduled to run by contacting the airline directly and, most of all, stay safe by following Foreign Office and Israeli government advice."