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Special Flights Bring Home Hundreds of Israelis

Foreign governments and Israeli diplomats continued last week, to bring home hundreds of Israeli backpackers who were stranded abroad. The majority, more than 600 Israelis, were returned from India. "Some 200 Arab Israeli students from Jordan, 150 Israelis from Central Europe and another 150 from Costa Rica, were flown home safely," said Foreign Minister Israel Katz. "We managed to get tourists out from all parts of Bolivia, and even those that were unable to board last week's El Al flight from Peru will return to Israel soon." Half of the 6000 Israelis that asked the Foreign Ministry for help in recent weeks have already returned, including about 1,000 from India, 1,000 from Peru, hundreds from Australia, Brazil and Mexico and about 100 each from Nepal and Myanmar. Over 1,000 Israeli students returned from Eastern Europe. The government will not be able to help Israelis abroad as much, as more borders close and flights are canceled in the wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, Foreign Minister Israel Katz warned on Thur. 26 March 2020. "The window of opportunity to return to Israel is shrinking, as is the State of Israel's ability to help Israelis who remain abroad during the coronavirus crisis," Foreign Minister Israel Katz warned. Katz called on all Israelis to make an effort to find their way back to Israel. (VFI)