The UK will conduct surveillance flights over Israel and Gaza as part of hostage rescue efforts, Sky News reported on Saturday.
According to the report, the Ministry of Defense said the surveillance aircraft "will be unarmed, do not have a combat role, and will be tasked solely to locate hostages".
"Only information relating to hostage rescue will be passed to the relevant authorities responsible for hostage rescue," the ministry said in a statement.
The flights will take place over the eastern Mediterranean, including operating in air space over Israel and Gaza.
The MoD said the UK government had been "working with partners across the region to secure the release of hostages, including British nationals, who have been kidnapped" since the Hamas attacks on October 7.
"The safety of British nationals is our utmost priority," it said.
Earlier this month, the Pentagon confirmed that the US is flying drones over Gaza as part of the efforts to locate the more than 200 hostages being held by Hamas following its October 7 attack on Israel.
US officials insisted that the intelligence gathered by the drones and shared with Israel is limited to hostage recovery efforts and is not so-called “targeting intelligence” — information used to conduct lethal strikes against Hamas leaders and positions.
The UK military was deployed to the eastern Mediterranean the week after the October 7 attacks, with RAF aircraft and Royal Navy ships sent to the region, noted Sky News.
Last week, Britain announced that it was sending one of its most advanced naval vessels to the Gulf to shore up its presence in the region.
The HMS Diamond, a Type 45 destroyer, will conduct operations to ensure freedom of navigation, reassure merchant vessels and ensure the safe flow of trade, the defense ministry said.