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First Greeks repatriated from Israel

Featured First Greeks repatriated from Israel

The first 81 Greeks were repatriated from the war in Israel have been in the arms of their own people for a few hours now.

At approximately 1:00 a.m. on Monday (9/10) they arrived at "Eleftherios Venizelos" airport. All of them relieved, for managing to escape the horrors of war, described the situation they lived in, from the moment Hamas attacked Israel.

The 81 Greeks, who were repatriated, were on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land and were due to return yesterday (8/10), however, due to the war, their flight was delayed.

Shocking descriptions 

"It was difficult at the airport because there were problems with the flights," said one of those who arrived at "Eleftherios Venizelos".

Another added: "There was a lot of traffic on the road. A lot of people wanted to leave. Not only tourists but also Israelis who wanted to go somewhere safe. The situation in the areas invaded by the Palestinians is dangerous."

"We heard gunshots yesterday... We were all worried"

"As we were going for the pilgrimages, the group leader informed us about what was happening and told us to be careful," said an elderly woman.

One gentleman described images of the streets in Bethlehem and Jericho: “We live in Bethlehem. Yesterday we went to Jericho because it was considered safer there. We received an order this morning. We went back to where we were staying and at noon they took us to the airport. We saw barricades and a lot of people at the stops that the Israelis have to control. The situation is difficult there. We heard gunshots yesterday... We were all worried. The embassy and our leader helped us to go back."

In the hours of agony they lived, one more arrival was mentioned: "We were trapped in Jericho, where we were going on a pilgrimage. Our agent did what he could and we went to a hotel to be safe. Later, as we were leaving, we learned about the bombings. We raced, on the way to the airport in Tel Aviv we were stopped twice. Fortunately, they didn't search us."

It is noted that other flights from Tel Aviv are arriving at the "Eleftherios Venizelos" airport with citizens from other countries who come to Greece because they no longer feel safe in Israel and will remain here until the situation improves. Also, some who were there for holidays in the warring country, they left in droves and are using Greece as a stopover. Later they will return to their homelands. According to the information from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 149 registered Greeks were in Israel. The 81 people, who were part of two organized tours, were repatriated and for the remaining 68, an effort is being made so that their return takes place with safety in the shortest possible time.