Israel brings home citizens stranded in wake of Coronavirus

March 22, 2020 by TPS
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Hundreds of Israelis returned to the country over the weekend from Peru on four El Al flights as the Foreign Ministry has been working over the past days to bring home Israelis from various countries who have shut down their borders in wake of the global spread of Coronavirus.

Israeli travellers who were stuck in Peru due to the border closures enacted as a result of the coronavirus, arriving at Ben Gurion airport by El Al rescue flights and welcoming by family members. Lod, Mar 20, 2020. Photo by Kobi Richter/TPS

From the situation room in Jerusalem, through diplomats at headquarters who are coordinating the operations vis-à-vis the host countries, the Foreign Ministry has been working to ensure that Israelis who wish to return home can do so.

A special flight is being arranged to rescue Israelis stranded in India. The flight is expected to leave for Israel from New Delhi on Wednesday. India announced it was shutting down its borders on Sunday.

Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz stated Saturday that “due to the world-wide closures, we are in a state of national emergency when it comes to bringing back Israelis to Israel, so a national emergency plan is required.”

“The principle of mutual accountability will continue to accompany us until the return of all Israelis to Israel, during this challenging emergency,” he added.

He urged all Israelis travelling abroad to return to Israel as soon as possible.

Most countries still have commercial flights and the tourists can return to Israel

In the past two weeks, 98,549 Israelis have returned to the country, of which 2,261 have entered in the last day.

In the last two weeks, 118,448 foreign nationals have left Israel as it too restricted travel and entry into the country.

Coronavirus has affected 188 countries.

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