C-130 plane had been waiting for clearance to set out since last night
A Portuguese Air Force C-130 plane is on its way to Tel Aviv to pick up nationals requesting assistance to leave war-torn Israel, the ministry of foreign affairs has announced.
“The Portuguese Air Force’s C-130 aircraft has already left Figo Maduro Transit Aerodrome No. 1, heading for Tel Aviv.
“The flight will make a stop in Cyprus, and it is expected to be in Tel Aviv by the end of today,” said the statement this afternoon, warning that “the mission is subject to conditions on the ground”.
The deployment of the C-130 “is the result of ongoing coordination with local authorities and is being carried out by the ministry of foreign affairs and the ministry of national defence,” the statement added.
“Nationals who have requested support in leaving the country are already being contacted by consular services.
“The conditions of the operation are dynamic and are being constantly evaluated, with the ultimate goal being the withdrawal of nationals who have expressed an interest in leaving the country,” the statement concludes.
Last night on SIC television news commentator Luís Marques Mendes said the C-130 plane was already ready to leave Portugal, and simply waiting on clearance.
The situation in Israel has seen most passenger airlines cancel flights in and out of the country as a result of the fighting that broke out after Hamas terrorists burst across the Gaza strip in the early hours of Saturday, slaughtering hundreds of civilians in their own homes, and kidnapping dozens of others.