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Mexican military planes to station in Europe to repatriate more than 700 nationals as Israel tensions increase

Mexico City, Mexico — Additional flights will be made into Israel to continue bringing Mexican nationals home. On Thursday morning, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced that there will be a constant airlift with two Mexican Air Force planes into Israel to repatriate nationals.

He said efforts will continue to return Mexican nationals who are still in the zone of conflict. He highlighted that the SRE, headed by the Chancellor Alicia Bárcena, is already carrying out the procedures so the planes can leave Mexico Friday.

He said the planes will leave Mexico city bound for Europe to begin the next stage of the repatriation plan, where they will remain stationed.

In the morning conference at the National Palace, López Obrador said that a total of 764 Mexicans have yet to return.

“We made the decision, the pilots, the entire team (…) that Friday, the two planes leave, but since there are many people and the conflict is unfortunately escalating, we want to take advantage of the time we have so we are going to do an airlift, we are going to take them out as soon as possible,” he said.

“The planes are going to stay in Europe, they are taking the people to a nearby country and once we have them all in this country we will bring them to Mexico because we can’t take too long,” he explained.

He said the corresponding procedures are already being carried out by the Foreign Ministry. He also thanked Israeli authorities for the facilities granted for the first rescue of Mexicans from the Tel Aviv Airport.

“We thank the Israeli authorities for these facilities. They have not closed the Tel Aviv Airport, but they are already suspending more commercial flights and we already know that this is a very serious, regrettable situation,” he said.

We wish with all our hearts that the conflict does not escalate, that peace is sought, but unfortunately it is not seen that hostilities can cease in the short term. We need to protect the Mexicans who are in Israel and that is why this decision we made,” he added.

To date, around 300 Mexican nationals have returned to Mexico on the country’s two military planes. Of those who applied to return, priority was given to parents with young children and the elderly.

“A selection was made on the first two flights where preference was given to children, the elderly first, 287 arrived and we need to bring the remaining 764,” he said.