A video with images of Argentines and Israelis kidnapped by Hamas in Israel is being projected in Vaticano square, outside Teatro Colón. The video aims to raise awareness of the hostages’ situation and calls for their safe return.
Seven Argentine citizens have been killed and 15 have been kidnapped by Hamas since the war broke out, the Foreign Ministry’s spokeperson told the Herald.
“Buenos Aires rejects Hamas’ acts of terrorism,” says the video, which was made by the Argentine Zionist Organization and is being displayed by Buenos Aires city government. “Look them in the eyes. Bring them back home.”
Screening of the video started on Sunday and will continue until Wednesday.
Among the people in the video is Abi Korin, an Argentine who had emigrated to Israel in the late 1980s and was killed shortly after the first Hamas attack. He was the son of Moshé Korin, who was culture director of the Argentine-Israeli Mutual Association (AMIA), one of the most important Jewish community centers in Argentina.
A week ago, the Argentine government launched a repatriation plan called Regreso Seguro (Safe Return). The first flight landed in Buenos Aires province on Sunday morning. Most of the 244 passengers were secondary school students who were in Israel on an exchange program.
The repatriation plan is run by the foreign and defense ministries along with the army. Two airforce planes are flying evacuees from Tel Aviv to Rome. From there, they are taken to Ministro Pistarini (Ezeiza) airport.
Another Aerolíneas Argentinas flight is expected to land in Ezeiza on Tuesday afternoon after leaving Rome earlier that day with 250 people on board, according to Télam.
Over 1,500 citizens have requested repatriation so far, Foreign Ministry figures show. Hundreds of Argentines have already been evacuated from Tel Aviv. On Monday afternoon, another flight with 90 people on board arrived in Rome.
Hamas launched the biggest attack on Israel in years on October 7, firing rockets from Gaza and sending gunmen into Israel on foot. Israel responded by bombarding Gaza, and formally declared war the next day. Israel also imposed a total blockade of Gaza.
Around one million Palestinians left their homes in the Gaza strip after Israel warned that it planned to intensify air strikes and told residents to move south towards the border with Egypt, according to Reuters.
The United Nations World Food Programme said that stores in Gaza only have enough food left for the next “four or five days” due to the blockade.
Assistance for Argentines in Israel
To board the emergency evacuation flights, Argentines in Israel have to register with the Argentine consulate in Tel Aviv.
To be included, they must email [email protected] with their full name, national identity document (DNI) number, a phone number, their current location, a relative’s contact information, medical conditions (if any) and any other relevant information, the Foreign Ministry said.
For urgent assistance, they should call the Tel Aviv consulate’s emergency number: +972 52 597 8359.
The Foreign Ministry has also launched a national phone line for people who need information or wish to inform the authorities about Argentine relatives who need assistance in Israel. They should call or send a WhatsApp message to +54 9 1140411522.