Péter Szijjártó, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade, said 325 people, including 46 children, have been evacuated from Israel aboard three aircraft of the Hungarian Air Force.
According to a foreign ministry statement, the situation in Israel remains “extremely worrying”, with some areas practically in a state of war. The Hungarian government’s top priority in such a situation is to ensure the safety of Hungarians, he said. The government has established contact with hundreds of people, 215 of whom were evacuated on two aircraft of the Hungarian Air Force last night, he said. One plane then returned to Tel Aviv to rescue 110 more people, he added. All Hungarians who have asked for assistance in returning home have landed in Hungary or are en route home, with the third flight having recently left Israel’s airspace, Szijjártó said. Altogether 310 of those evacuated are Hungarians and 15 of them foreign nationals, among them Israeli, Swedish, German, British, Austrian and Portuguese citizens, he said. Fully 46 of those rescued are children, he added.
Staff at the Hungarian embassy in Tel Aviv remain on 24-hour call and the consular emergency centre in Budapest is also working with increased staff, the minister said. Flights between Budapest and Tel Aviv continue to operate as scheduled, Szijjártó said, but he urged Hungarians to cancel their trips to Israel unless they were absolutely essential. He urged those travelling to the Middle Eastern country to register for consular protection. “We continue to stand by Israel; we condemn the terrorist attack against the country and call on international political players to demonstrate responsibility in this situation so that an escalation of this wartime situation can be avoided,” he said.