Foreign Ministry calls on all Israelis abroad to return to Israel ASAP

El Al planes bring Israelis home from Peru

Israeli returning from Peru on an El Al plane just before takeoff. (photo credit: SIVAN FARAJ)
Israeli returning from Peru on an El Al plane just before takeoff.
(photo credit: SIVAN FARAJ)
The Foreign Ministry on Thursday reiterated its call for Israelis abroad to return immediacy as countries have started to close their skies and airline travel soon be possible. 
Other countries, including the US are issuing similar warnings to their citizens. Among  the countries where there are no longer commercial flights are: Latvia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Ukraine, Macedonia, Jordan, Egypt, Columbia and Peru.
"Due to reduction and cancellation of flights all over the world and the decision of many countries to close their skies and borders because of the coronavirus outbreak, we call on all Israelis abroad to come back to Israel as soon as possible," the Foreign Ministry stated.
The ministry added that even though tickets are hard to come by and some routes are uncomfortable, there are still aviation companies flying. For the convenience of those seeking to return to the country, the ministry compiled a list of possible ways to leave the countries.
In some cases, such as Peru, Israel has been able to help those Israelis who were suddenly trapped behind closed borders, such as some 1,000 post army young adults who were in Peru.
The Foreign Ministry worked out an arrangement by which four El Al planes landed in Lima Peru on Thursday to rescue the Israelis. The first of the planes has already left. The other two were due to leave later in the day.
Foreign Minister Israel Katz tweeted a few short videos showing the young Israelis on the plane and singing and cheering that they were returning home. Without Foreign Ministry interference they would not have been able to leave. There were some tense movements for some 600 of the Israelis who had been Cusco. They had gone to the airport there on Wednesday to catch specially arranged domestic flights to Lima, but police barred them form entering the airport. Eventually they were forced to return to their lodgings.    
They were only allowed to leave on Thursday morning after spoke with his Peruvian counterpart Gustavo Meza-Cuadra.
He tweeted, "Following my conversation with the Peruvian foreign minister yesterday... It was agreed that this morning, Peru time, the Israelis will leave from Cusco to Lima and join the travelers already there, where they will all board the planes back to Israel, and God willing, will come back home safely.”
 
The city of Cusco is under closure due to the coronavirus epidemic and the airport is closed. No one, including foreign nationals, are allowed to leave.
Upon their return to Israel the young Israelis will have to enter immediate isolation in their homes.


Tags El Al peru