William Hague just colourfully summed up what sounds like a pretty poor Israeli effort to offer consular access to detained activists.

Because of the Israeli “lack of preparation” and confusion over the status of some detainees, Hague said British diplomats were being forced to “go to the prison, hammer on doors and ask people if they are British”.

Yet even with this rather open approach to consular support, we seem to have lost a handful of British activists, at least on paper. Since Tuesday the number of British nationals in detention has fallen from 42 to 37, in what Hague described as a “fluid situation”.

So far the UK consular team have only been given access to 28 British passport holders — or at least to people who said they were British passport holders when asked. There are clearly a few more doors to knock on in the prison.

Hague’s frustrations were clearly evident in the Commons. “It’s a chaotic situation and it is being handled unsatisfactorily,” he said.

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