Air Force flight to support return of Portuguese from Israel

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The Portuguese government has decided to send a Portuguese Air Force (FAP) plane to support the return of Portuguese nationals from Israel, but is awaiting authorization from that country for the overflight, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said today.

In a statement, the Portuguese diplomatic service said that at the moment “there are no records of Portuguese nationals directly affected” by the events taking place in Israeli territory, but “in view of the increasingly scarce options offered by commercial flights, given the exponential demand from citizens from all over the world, the government took the decision to send a FAP plane, under the close coordination of the Joint Military Operations Command of the General Staff of the Armed Forces (EMGFA) to Israel”.

“As soon as the Israeli authorities give permission for the plane to fly over, they will inform us of when the plane will arrive and the procedures to be followed by the Portuguese seeking to leave Israel,” said the statement, clarifying that this is a mission being carried out by the MFA and the Ministry of National Defence.

Following Saturday’s attack on Israel by the Islamist group Hamas from the Gaza Strip, around 100 Portuguese citizens have been flagged, including tourists and residents, who have contacted the Consular Emergency Office only to report their presence in the territory, or to request support in identifying alternatives for leaving the country, which are still being shared, the government said.

On Saturday, the Islamist group Hamas launched a surprise attack on Israeli territory, under the name Operation “al-Aqsa Storm”, with the launch of thousands of rockets and the incursion of armed militiamen by land, sea and air.

In response to the surprise attack, Israel bombed several Hamas facilities in the Gaza Strip from the air, in an operation it dubbed “Iron Swords”.

The armed conflict has caused hundreds of deaths on both sides and thousands of injuries.

Moti Shabi
Moti Shabi
Moti Shabi

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