Home Top Stories Nigeria, others evacuate citizens as Israel-Hamas war rages

Nigeria, others evacuate citizens as Israel-Hamas war rages

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Governments are scrambling to evacuate their citizens from Israel amid the ongoing conflict between the country and the Palestinian militant group Hamas.

The renewed violence which started on Saturday with the attack by Hamas militants on Israel has degenerated into multiple airstrikes by the Israeli military on Gaza, which is fast turning the troubled area into rubble.

The violence has claimed thousands of lives on both sides.

Meanwhile, several countries have launched operations to repatriate their citizens, while others plan to do so in the coming days, the AFP reports.

According to official sources, an overview of ongoing and planned evacuations reveals that Nigeria has airlifted more than 300 of its citizens back home after they fled to Jordan from Israel.

They were on a Christian pilgrimage, the Lagos state government said.

The group was travelling from Bethlehem to Nazareth when they heard news of the attack in the south of Israel.

With the war erupting, the group and the Nigerian Christian Pilgrims’ Commission organized for them to travel by road to Jordan and then take a chartered flight to Lagos.

Argentina, the Latin American country with the largest Jewish population, on Tuesday started evacuating more than 1,200 of its citizens from Israel.

Three air force flights a day will take the 1,246 Argentines who have asked to be evacuated to the Italian capital Rome, Defense Minister Jorge Taiana said.

From there, state-owned airline Aerolineas Argentinas will fly them to Buenos Aires.

Brazil’s government plans to mobilize at least six planes in a bid to rapidly repatriate any of its citizens who wish to leave Israel and the Palestinian territories.

It said that about 14,000 Brazilians live in Israel and 6,000 live in the Palestinian territories.

Some had already left on commercial flights, it said.

Swiss International Air Lines repatriated 220 Swiss nationals on Tuesday.

A second special flight with a capacity of 215 seats is planned for Wednesday, requested by the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs.

A third flight is scheduled for Thursday, expected to land in Tel Aviv in the afternoon, also with a capacity of 215 seats.

Around 28,000 Swiss citizens and their families are officially registered as living in Israel and the Palestinian territories.

Spain organized a flight from Tel Aviv overnight to Wednesday with 200 people on board, its foreign ministry said.

A flight carrying 192 South Korean citizens took off from Tel Aviv and landed at the Incheon International Airport near Seoul early Wednesday, the foreign ministry said.

Another 30 South Korean nationals will be evacuated later in the week by commercial flights, it said, adding that 27 others, who were in Israel on a Christian pilgrimage, will go by road to neighboring Jordan.

The Canadian government said it would organize special flights from Tel Aviv later in the week for Canadian nationals, with help from the Canadian military.

French Foreign Minister Catherine Colonna announced on Tuesday that her ministry’s crisis unit was organizing a special Air France flight from Tel Aviv on Thursday to help repatriate any French nationals who have been unable to leave.

Germany said it was working with Lufthansa to organize “several special flights” on Thursday and Friday to repatriate German citizens.

“Around 4,500 German citizens” have registered on a list seeking help to return home, a foreign ministry source said.

The Iceland government announced it will send a plane to repatriate around 120 of its nationals stuck in Israel.

Norway has organized a flight for Wednesday evening for its citizens stuck in Israel and Palestinian territories. There are around 500 Norwegian nationals in the region.

Portugal repatriated 152 of its nationals Wednesday morning, as well as 14 other Europeans, in a Portuguese military aircraft.

Finland says it will organize the repatriation of its nationals from the region.

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