Argentina evacuates first group of 49 people from Israel

The government announced that a flight carrying its citizens had left Tel Aviv and landed safely in Rome

Argentine boarding the Hercules flight to leave Israel. Credit: Argentine Foreign Ministry

Foreign Minister Santiago Cafiero announced Thursday that a flight carrying 49 Argentines evacuated from Israel had landed safely in Rome following a 4-hour flight from Tel Aviv. These people were the first to leave Israel out of the more than 1400 who signed up for Operation Safe Return, a plan organized by the Argentine government to evacuate its citizens due to the breakout of the Israel-Hamas war. 

“The first group of Argentines evacuated from Israel arrived in Rome. The ‘Hercules’ [plane] just landed at the Mario Bernardi military airport. They will receive assistance at our Embassy before returning [to Argentina]. Thank you to all the operational team for the effort,” Cafiero wrote on the website X. 


“My priority is to bring Argentines back, and I will bring them all back,” Cafiero said in an interview with National Radio. He also said that a Boeing 737 operated by the Armed Forces will be added to help speed up the evacuation operation. This second aircraft is scheduled to leave Buenos Aires for Rome on Thursday.  

Although there were only 49 people on the first flight out of Tel Aviv, General Jorge Becerro, who is in charge of the operation, said that the goal is to step up that number to 210 people per day. “That’s why we requested a second aircraft from the Air Force,” he said in an interview with TN news channel. 

According to the government, Operation Safe Return will transport all Argentines who requested evacuation on a series of at least three daily flights out of Tel Aviv, starting this Thursday. As of now, 1.417 people have signed up to be evacuated. 

The operation, which is being coordinated by the Foreign Ministry, the Armed Forces, and the Defense Department, established that the evacuation route from Israel to Argentina would have an intermediate stop in Italy due to the fact that the Defense Ministry has a post in the city.  

The evacuees will return to Argentina from Italy via flights on Aerolíneas Argentinas. 

– with information from Télam


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