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Israel mulling options to rescue citizens in war-torn Ethiopia

An emergency meeting of the National Security Council was held to examine options for rescuing about 70 Israelis trapped in Gondar.

The view from the Goha Hotel in Gondar, Ethiopia. Credit: A.Savin via Wikimedia Commons.
The view from the Goha Hotel in Gondar, Ethiopia. Credit: A.Savin via Wikimedia Commons.

An emergency meeting of Israel’s National Security Council was held on Tuesday morning to examine options for rescuing Israelis trapped in war-torn northern Ethiopia.

Foreign Ministry officials said at the meeting that there are about 70 Israelis staying in the besieged city of Gondar, and that contact has been established with most of them, Channel 12 reported.

Officials were discussing the possibility of sending in an armed convoy for a 14-hour rescue mission in coordination with the Ethiopian military and the rival militia.

The ministry said in a statement on Friday that some 50 Israelis are believed to be stuck in the Gondar region, along with around 60 others eligible for Israeli citizenship.

On Monday morning, 13 Israelis and seven foreign nationals in the town of Debark, north of Gondar, were transported out of danger, Walla News reported. The group was brought to the city of Shire near the Eritrean border and was expected to be flown to Addis Ababa.

The Israeli and foreign nationals were rescued by Magnus International Search and Rescue and PassportCard in coordination with local officials, Israeli diplomats in Addis Ababa and the Israeli Foreign Ministry.

An Israeli citizen who was abducted in Ethiopia some three weeks ago has been freed and reunited with his children, Channel 12 News reported on Monday.

Ethiopian special forces were able to liberate Francis Adbabayi, 79, from Rishon Lezion, following a “pursuit and shootout” with his kidnappers near the country’s northwestern border.

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