Four Portuguese national “still missing”; 2000 remaining in Israel
A Portuguese air force plan bringing people back from Israel in the wake of the attacks by Hamas has landed in Lisbon with 22 people on board – eight Portuguese and 14 foreign nationals.
In a statement released to the media, the ministry of foreign affairs said the Portuguese Air Force C-130 from Cyprus landed at Figo Maduro aerodrome at around 7.30 am, completing the repatriation of all Portuguese nationals who have told authorities that wanted assistance to reach Portugal.
“The repatriation mission was also able to respond to the appeal of several international partners, with the transport of around four dozen foreigners, some of whom remained in Larnaca to return to their country of origin,” added the ministry, emphasising that Portugal was “one of the first countries” to launch a military flight to repatriate its citizens.
The repatriation of around 200 people, including nationals and foreigners, was carried out jointly by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of National Defence, with the first flight – a chartered TAP aircraft – arriving in Lisbon on Wednesday with 152 Portuguese and Portuguese-Israelis.
Speaking to journalists on Wednesday, the minister for foreign affairs João Gomes Cravinho, said that four Portuguese nationals were still missing.
According to Gomes Cravinho, there are “around 2,000 more Portuguese” on consular lists “but they have not yet expressed a desire to return to Portugal.”
Since the horrific incursion into southern Israel by Hamas terrorists who killed, butchered and beheaded hundreds of civilians – from the very young to the very old – the country has gone onto a major war footing, sending missiles into Palestinian territory and launching a ‘siege’ on essential supplies, including water and fuel.
The Red Cross has already warned that the humanitarian situation in Gaza “will soon be unmanageable”.
Thousands of people, on both sides of this conflict, have so far been killed.
Israel’s objectives are both to free the hostages kidnapped by Hamas militants and taken into Gaza over the weekend, and take out the leaders of this terrorist organisation.
Meantime, endless videos and information has been circulating over social media. Visegrád24 – a central European news account on X (formally known as Twitter) has published a disturbing clip suggesting the extent to which Palestinian children have been taught, in schools, to despise jews. One young boy tells the interviewer: “Stabbing and running over jews brings dignity to the Palestinans”.