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Hungarian air force evacuates 325 people from Israel in governmental rescue operation

Text: honvedelem.hu/MTI | Photo: László Kertész, Péter Szijjártó’s Facebook page |  12:38 October 9, 2023

During the night, the Hungarian air force evacuated altogether 325 people – including 46 children – from Israel aboard three aircraft, in the framework of a governmental rescue operation, announced Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Péter Szijjártó on Monday, 9 October in Budapest.

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According to the press release by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the minister said that the situation continues to be very concerning in the Near East country, where practically war conditions prevail in some areas. He stated that naturally, in a case like this, the most important task of the government is to take Hungarians to safety.

For this reason, according to the minister, they have contacted hundreds of persons, of whom 215 have already been evacuated aboard two aircraft of the Hungarian air force. However, there were still more than 100 Hungarian citizens there who wanted to return home, and that is why one of the planes flew back to Tel Aviv one more time, where it was boarded by another 110 persons.

“Thus, the Hungarian air force has evacuated altogether 325 people from Israel aboard three airplanes, in a joint rescue operation of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the Ministry of Defence”, underlined the minister.

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Péter Szijjártó pointed out that accordingly, each of the Hungarians who had requested help with returning home is either already here at home or is already on their way home, as some minutes ago the third evacuation flight also left Israel’s airspace. He said that the evacuees include 310 Hungarians and 15 foreign – for example, Israeli, Swedish, German, British, Austrian and Portuguese – citizens, among them 46 children.

“Of course, the embassy staff continues to perform 24-hour duty in Tel Aviv. Of course, we have increased the number of consuls we are working with in our emergency centre in Budapest, and are waiting for those Hungarians to apply who need any kind of help in Israel”, stated the minister.

He said that scheduled flights are operating regularly between Budapest and Tel Aviv. The minister advised all Hungarians against all but essential travel to Israel, and asked them to postpone their travel, if possible, in the interest of their own safety. “We kindly request all those, however, who are to travel to Israel to register for consular protection”, he said.

The minster emphasized that “we continue to stand by Israel and condemn the terrorist attack on it; at the same time, we call on all actors in international politics to show responsibility in this situation, and let us avoid the escalation of this war situation.”