NATO state tells citizens to pay for their flights out of Israel

Norway has announced a flight to take its citizens out of Tel Aviv four days after the start of the Gaza conflict

The Norwegian Foreign Ministry on Wednesday announced that it would carry out an evacuation flight from Tel Aviv to Oslo for its citizens and those of other Nordic nations. According to the statement, those stranded in Israel will be able to leave the country on the flight if they pay part of the transportation costs.  

“We are sending a Norwegian aircraft to Tel Aviv today to bring Norwegian citizens home. We have been working on this solution with Norwegian Air over the last few days,” said Foreign Minister Anniken Huitfeldt, noting that the security situation in Israel and the Palestinian territories is “extremely volatile,” making it difficult to leave the region.  

As the official mentioned, Norwegian citizens who “wish to take this opportunity” are required to send an email to the ministry and “cover some of the transport costs.”  

The statement also mentions that this evacuation flight will operate “in addition to the scheduled flights that are still departing from Israel.” However, some Norwegian tourists caught up in the escalation of the Gaza conflict have complained on social media that they have been unable to leave the country due to the cancellation of regular flights.   

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On the ministry’s official Facebook page, some users note that other countries have already transported their citizens out of Israel, while Norwegians trying to fly home have had little success. Local tabloid VG shared the story of a Norwegian tourist who has already spent more than $2,700 on tickets to leave the country only to have all of the flights canceled.  

Hamas, a Palestinian militant group that controls much of the Gaza Strip, launched what it calls ‘Operation Al-Aqsa Flood’ on Saturday, firing rockets and dispatching commandos deep into Israeli territory. The Israel Defense Forces responded by dropping bombs on Gaza and cutting off all utilities.  

As of Wednesday, Israeli authorities reported at least 1,200 dead. Palestinian authorities in Gaza say at least 1,055 people have been killed since the outbreak of hostilities.


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