Photo: El Al Israel Airlines
El Al plane (Archive photo)
Georgian forces in Gori
Photo: AP

Tbilisi: Israelis fight for seat on El Al flight

Foreign Ministry working to evacuate 230 Israelis from war-battered country; considers evacuation to neighboring countries by land if necessary

El Al Airlines dispatched a special flight to the Georgian capital of Tbilisi Tuesday morning to evacuate Israelis from the war-battered country. The flight was dispatched at the Foreign Ministry's request and is expected to return to Israel in the evening.


Foreign Ministry Director-General Aharon Abramowitz convened an emergency meeting overnight during which it was decided to work toward evacuating Israeli citizens from Tbilisi. The Ministry estimates that some 230 Israelis remain in Georgia.


The Tbilis airport is still operational, but should efforts to evacuate Israelis by plane fail, the Ministry will consider evacuating them to neighboring countries by land.


Meanwhile, the travel advisory to Georgia has been updated, and Israelis in Georgia were urged to notify the Foreign Ministry of their whereabouts ahead of a possible evacuation.


Hundreds of Israelis have flocked to the Israeli Embassy in Tbilisi, Tuesday, hoping to get a place on the flight out of the war zone.


Meir Zarovsky, who is in Georgia as part of an organized tour, told Ynet that there are "more people than there are places on the plane… the embassy told us they currently have 190 places and there are over 400 people here. Everyone just wants to get out of here."


Roi Mandel contributed to this report 


פרסום ראשון: 08.12.08, 08:47
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