MEX8010. CIUDAD DE MÉXICO (MÉXICO),12/10/2023.- Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador speaks during his press conference today at the National Palace in Mexico City, Mexico. EFE/ Sáshenka Gutiérrez

López Obrador reports that 1,000 Mexicans await rescue in Israel

Mexico City, Oct 12 (EFE).- Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said Thursday that about 1,000 Mexican nationals in Israel are still awaiting help to return from that country, which has been at war with the Palestinian group Hamas since last Saturday.

“They (the first two groups) have already returned. There are 280, the important thing is that there are about 1,000 who want to come. A selection was made, preference was given to children, the elderly, but even young people remained, 287 arrived, and we still have to bring 764,” said the president during his morning press conference.

Two Mexican Air Force planes arrived in the country on Wednesday night with 287 nationals (143 and 144 respectively) repatriated from Israel.

However, the President said they will take a break and travel to Europe again on Friday.

He also informed of the decision to make an “air bridge” and that the planes would stay somewhere in Europe without specifying where.

He pointed out that the idea is to transfer the Mexicans who remain in Israel to nearby countries and, when there is a sufficient number of them gathered, to bring them in Army planes to Mexico.

“We want to take advantage of the time. We are going to make an air bridge, the planes are going to stay there in Europe, (we are going to) be taking (the Mexicans) out (to a nearby country) and once they are in that country we will bring them back,” he said.

He also thanked the Israeli authorities helping in the transfers. However, he regretted that the armed conflict continues to escalate.

“This is a dire and regrettable decision. We wish with all our hearts that the conflict does not escalate, that peace is sought, but it doesn’t seem, unfortunately, that in the short term, hostilities can cease,” he added.

After the violent and surprise terrorist attack by Hamas on Israel last Saturday and the declaration of war by the Jewish State, the Israeli death toll exceeds 1,200, more than in the entire Second Intifada (2000-2005).

Meanwhile, in the Gaza Strip, on the brink of another humanitarian catastrophe, probably also unprecedented, the death toll is already 1,100 dead and 5,330 wounded. EFE