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Successful evacuation of Korean residents in Israel by an Air Force transport plane

The Rapid Response Team of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the medical service team of the Ministry of National Defense were rushed to the scene

A KC-330 Cygnus returned 163 people

Japanese and Singaporeans were also aboard on humanitarian grounds

The safety of 450 Koreans remaining in Israel was confirmed and evacuation was recommended

Korean residents isolated in Israel due to the sur

163 Koreans who were in Israel after a surprise attack by the Palestinian armed faction Hamas returned home aboard an Air Force multi-role tanker/transporter KC-330 Cygnus.


The Defense Ministry and Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced that a KC-330 Cygnus carrying 163 Koreans including 81 long-term residents and 82 short-term travelers landed at Seoul Air Base in Seongnam on October 14 at 10:45 p.m.


The military transport plane also brought 51 Japanese and six Singaporean nationals.


Regarding this, the government said that it helped them leave Israel aboard the military transport plane “on humanitarian grounds.”


The government said that Japanese Minister for Foreign Affairs Kamikawa Yoko and Japanese Ambassador to Israel Mizushima Koichi expressed appreciation for Korea’s support for the evacuation of the Japanese nationals.


Earlier, due to the suspension of civilian flights to and from Tel Aviv's airport amid escalating armed conflicts between Israel and Hamas since October 7, the government decided to dispatch a military plane and a rapid response team to ensure the safety of its citizens.


The Air Force KC-330 Cygnus left Korea around noon on October 13. To support the evacuation of Koreans in Israel, a MOFA Rapid Response Team consisting of the director general of consular affairs and safety bureau and three personnel and the Defense Ministry’s medical team were dispatched.


The plane arrived in Tel Aviv on the evening of October 13 and departed from the Ben Gurion International Airport in Tel Aviv at dawn on October 14.


The government is advising remaining Koreans in Israel to move to a safe place via land routes or the airlines of a third country.


As of this day, Koreans remaining in Israel include 440 long-term residents and 10 short-term travelers. The government is contacting them, and all of them are known to be safe.


Meanwhile, the plane sent to Israel is an inflight tanker of the Air Force that can also transport 300 people and 47 tons of cargo.


There are four units of KC-330 Cygnus, and this is the fifth time one has been deployed to transport people, including overseas Korean residents, during emergencies.


In July 2020, it carried workers dispatched to Iraq, and in July 2021 transported soldiers of the Cheonghae Unit who were on a mission in the Gulf of Aden in Somalia.


In August 2021, the transport plane was used for Operation Miracle to evacuate Afghan collaborators from Afghanistan after the fall of Kabul, the capital city, to the Taliban. The plane also transported Korean residents during a civil war in Sudan during Operation Promise in April 2023.


By Joo-Hyeong, Lee < >

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