Last week, YWN reported that Israeli Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz arranged with El Al for the national airline to fly over a thousand Israelis stranded in Peru back to Israel free of charge.
Four El Al flights carrying 1,100 young Israelis from Peru landed at Ben Gurion Airport on Friday. On one of the planes, moments before the end of the “longest flight ever” – 43 hours – from Peru to Israel, the pilot spoke to the Israeli passengers about to return to their home in Israel, saying that despite the lengthy flight, it was the staff’s pleasure to bring them home.
“Together we’ll win over the coronavirus and withstand every future challenge. I ask that you sing, together with our wonderful staff: “The whole word is narrow bridge.”
“I’ll start: ‘Kol ha’olam kulo gesher tzaar meod v’haikar lo lefached klal.”
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Unfortunately, 23 Israelis were left behind in Peru due to lack of space and Israel’s Foreign Ministry is currently seeking a solution for them.
El Al also flew about 550 Israelis stranded in India back to Israel on two flights on Motzei Shabbos.
The first flight left Mumbai at 9:30 pm. and the second at 11 p.m. Reports say that another 2,500 Israelis are still stranded in India and El Al may operate a third flight.
Foreign Minister Yisrael Katz has instructed the Foreign Ministry to prepare a national emergency plan to bring home Israeli stranded around the world.
Many stranded Israelis around the world have initiated online campaigns for assistance due to lack of flights and border closures, with some claiming that the Foreign Ministry is not doing enough to help them.
Two Israir flights on Monday to Rome and Milan will rescue Israelis in Italy, including the staff of the Israeli embassy in Italy.
Israir Airlines is also operating a flight from Zagreb, Croatia on Sunday night to rescue 50 Israeli students following a 5.3 magnitude earthquake there on Sunday. There will also be flights on Sunday and Monday from Odessa, Bucharest and Kiev.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)