Canada ending evacuation flights out of Israel next week due to decreasing demand

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Published October 22, 2023 at 8:07 am

Anthony Urciuoli/hamilton.insauga.com photo

Ottawa will end evacuation flights from Israel next week, citing decreasing demand and increasingly available commercial options now that a number of Canadians have successfully left the country since the latest Israel-Hamas war began.

Foreign Affairs Minister Melanie Joly says in a statement that the last scheduled assisted departure flight from Tel Aviv will leave on Monday.

Joly says Canadian Armed Forces aircraft will remain on stand-by in the region in case conditions change and the demand for evacuation flights ramps up again.

She says there have been 17 evacuation flights out of Tel Aviv over nine days and Canada has assisted nearly 1,600 Canadians, permanent residents and eligible family members, and foreign nationals leave Israel to date.

Joly adds there have been 33 evacuation flights from the West Bank and the government’s teams in Ramallah and Ottawa remain in contact with Canadians seeking to leave the region.

She says the government is continuing work to secure a window for Canadians to exit Gaza and is providing them information on the situation, including windows for a possible exit at the border crossing in Rafah.

“My message to Canadians who are in Israel is clear: If you want to leave Israel for safety reasons, now is the time to do so,” said Joly through a Global Affairs Canada release.

“The situation in Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip remains volatile and is deteriorating rapidly.”

Canadians looking for assistance to leave the region should contact Global Affairs to register for one of the remaining flights, and those who need emergency consular assistance should contact the Emergency Watch and Response Centre in Ottawa, she added.

Global Affairs said Friday it is supporting six Canadian families following multiple deaths since war broke out following Hamas’ surprise incursion into Israel two weeks ago, as well as families of two missing Canadians.

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