Mexico Deploys Planes to Israel to Return Nationals


 The Mexican army is carrying out humanitarian flights aimed at bringing home nationals from Israel amid the attack on the country by the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas, the government said on Monday.

An unknown number of hostages were taken by Hamas after it launched a surprise attack in Israel on Saturday. Two Mexicans are believed to have been among those taken by the group, Foreign Minister Alicia Barcena said on Sunday.

President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador on Monday said in a press conference that Mexico would not take sides in the conflict and the United Nations should convene all member countries to seek a peaceful solution to the conflict.

“More than condemnation, what is required is a search for peaceful solutions, that there is dialogue and that further confrontation and violence is avoided,” Lopez Obrador said.

Some 5,000 Mexican nationals are in Israel and some 300 have asked to leave, according to Lopez Obrador.

A plane leaving on Monday morning has a capacity of about 170 passengers, the defense ministry said. A second plane was to leave later in the day.

Blajaith Aguilar, the head of the Mexican national gymnast team, told Reuters that she and five athletes alongside a physiotherapist were in Israel waiting to see if they would be on the next government-issued flight home.

“We were in our training camp when this whole situation broke out on Saturday,” she told Reuters.

Elsewhere in Latin America, Peru’s foreign ministry said two citizens have been reported missing, while one Panamanian citizen is also among those missing, according to local authorities.

Two Paraguayan citizens have been reported missing, the country’s foreign ministry said.

Source : Reuters