The remaining 28 Cook Islands residents sheltering in Jericho are expected to fly out on Friday (Israel time). Hannah Rosenberg/23101105.
The Cook Islands government is in talks with Australia to evacuate 28 Cook Islanders and residents sheltering in Jericho if the Israeli-Hamas conflict escalates further. Rashneel Kumar and Losirene Lacanivalu report.
remaining 28 who were part of the Cook Islands group visiting Jerusalem to
observe the Feast of the Tabernacle are scheduled to leave Israel today (Cook
dozens of flights to and from Tel Aviv have been cancelled by major airlines as
the Israeli-Hamas conflict, which started after the Palestinian terror group
launched a large-scale deadly attack on Saturday, rages on.
group of 20 Cook Islanders managed to fly out of Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport
earlier this week and are now in Dubai. They are expected to return home this
Cook Islands Prime Minister Mark Brown said they are in touch with the remaining residents and hope they will successfully make it out of Israel later today.
Foreign Affairs team is in contact with the team (in Israel) and as of this
stage, they are looking at their schedule flight leaving on Friday (Israel
time) out of Te Aviv,” Brown told Cook Islands News in an interview at his
there is a contingency in event things deteriorate. Australia have offered
assistance through their mission if we require evacuations sooner of our
citizens so we are keeping an eye on the situation there and taking information
from the ground to see if there is an opportunity for them to get out earlier.”
Islanders who are sheltering in Jericho are confident of making it out of
Israel on their scheduled flight.
Rosenberg, a tour guide looking after the Cook Islands group in Israel, told
Cook Islands News: “Everything is minute by minute. They are doing well. They
are in a safe place with good spirits.”
resident Luse Gukisuva, speaking to the newspaper at around midnight Thursday
(Israel time), said that they were all fine and in good spirits.
said: “We’re coming back on Friday.”
acknowledging families and friends for their continued support, she said: “We
just want to remind our families and friends that we are in good hands. God has
brought us here and He will bring us back home safely. Thank you for all your
family member of a Rarotonga resident who is in Jericho said she has been in
touch with her aunt and that they were safe and just being careful.
ok... it is just when the sirens go off, they go down into the bomb shelter.
But they are fine. Haven’t really felt or heard much. Just that they need to be
to The New York Times, American Airlines, Air France, Lufthansa,
Emirates, and Ryanair were among those pulling flights to Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion
Airport following the attack on Saturday.
airport authorities did not stop commercial air links with Israel’s second
international airport at Eilat, a tourist destination on the Red Sea.
Israeli flag carrier El Al said Sunday that it was maintaining its Tel Aviv
flights for now, though some flights operated by foreign partners had been cancelled.
Israel continues to pound Gaza in retaliation for the Hamas attack over the
weekend. The Palestinian health ministry says 1200 people have died since
Israel started airstrikes in the area.
toll on both sides now stands at almost 2500.
the Israel Defense Forces said that 1200 Israelis had been massacred by Hamas
gunmen over the weekend with the death toll expected to rise.