MADRID – The first repatriation aircraft of the Spanish Air Force, an A330, landed last night at the air base of Torrejón de Ardoz in Madrid. There were more than 200 people on board the flight from Israel.
This includes Spanish citizens, EU citizens, and third-country nationals living in Spain. A second military flight left this morning around 7.00 am for Tel Aviv to pick up the other stranded civilians. This mission aims to evacuate Spaniards who had their commercial flights cancelled due to the violence in Israel. The conflict escalated after terror attacks by the Islamist movement Hamas last weekend.
Ha despegado ya desde Torrejón el segundo avión que recogerá a más españoles con vuelos cancelados en Israel. @MAECgob y @Defensagob colaboramos para que esta operación para traer a casa a los españoles que no podían salir de Israel sea un éxito. https://t.co/PQVns2TkIC
— José Manuel Albares (@jmalbares) October 11, 2023
Two military aircraft deployed
Defense Minister Margarita Robles announced on Tuesday that two military planes have finally been deployed to evacuate around 500 Spaniards temporarily staying in Israel. Commercial flights have been suspended due to the recent clashes between the Israeli army and Hamas.
“Operation is a success”
The acting Foreign Minister, José Manuel Albares, confirmed the departure of the second plane and praised the cooperation with Defense. “Thanks to these combined efforts, the operation to remove the Spaniards who could not leave Israel has been a success,” Albares said.
Two missing Spaniards
In addition, Albares reported that two Spaniards were “affected” by the attack on Israel from Gaza. No further details were given for “safety reasons and respect for the families”. Both missing Spaniards are a resident of a kibbutz near the Gaza Strip and a young woman with dual Spanish-Israeli nationality doing military service in Israel.