The UK will send two Royal Navy ships and surveillance aircraft to the eastern Mediterranean in plans to “bolster security”, No 10 says.

It comes after six days of violence following the surprise attack on Israel by Hamas.

The aircraft will begin patrols on Friday to “track threats to regional stability such as the transfer of weapons to terrorist groups”.

Three Merlin helicopters and Royal Marines are also being dispatched.

The government is also arranging flights for British nationals stranded in Israel. The first plane was expected to leave Tel Aviv on Thursday, but as of Friday morning it had not yet left.

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