Plane takes off from Tel Aviv with Brazilians seeking to leave Israel
The first rescue plane left Tel Aviv on Tuesday, carrying 211 passengers back to Brazil as part of a repatriation operation to return more than 1,000 Brazilians stranded in Israel.
The Brazilian government announced that the plane would arrive in the nation’s capital of Brasilia early Wednesday. Authorities expect to deploy five additional planes by Oct. 15.
About 2,200 Brazilians in Israel have contacted the embassy to leave following violent clashes that began Saturday when the Hamas group infiltrated Israel, according to the Brazilian government.
Air Force Commander Marcelo Damasceno said repatriation missions expect to retrieve 900 Brazilians by Oct. 14.
The six Brazilian Air Force planes designated for the missions are primarily intended for citizens residing in Brazil who do not have tickets for commercial airlines.
Brazilian deaths in Israel
Brazilian authorities have confirmed the deaths of two nationals who died during the attacks Oct. 7. Both victims were reportedly attending a music festival near the Gaza-Israeli border that was targeted by Hamas.
The victims, Bruna Valeanu and Ranani Nidejelski Glazer, both 24, were reported missing since the Hamas attacks but Brazil’s government confirmed their deaths Tuesday.
Karla Stelzer, 41, a Brazilian who has lived in Israel for 10 years, also attended the festival and has since been reported missing.
President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva condemned the violence.
“I was shocked by the terrorist attacks carried out today against civilians in Israel, which claimed numerous victims. In expressing my condolences to the families of the victims, I reaffirm my rejection of terrorism in any of its forms,” he Lula Saturday on X.
Israel retaliated to the attacks with massive airstrikes on the Gaza Strip and placed the enclave under a total blockade.
More than 1,900 people have been killed, including at least 900 Palestinians and 1,000 Israelis, according to authorities.
Israel has also cut water and electricity supplies to Gaza, worsening the blockaded enclave’s already dire humanitarian situation.