Above images: Top left, CAF member helping with evacuations from Israel. Bottom left, Ms. Anna-Karine Asselin, Ambassador of Canada to Greece and High Commissioner to Cyprus, meets with Canadian Armed Forces members at the Zenon Coordination Centre in Larnaca, Cyprus during Operation ION on 20 October 2023. Photo by: Corporal Charles Audet, Canadian Armed Forces Photo. Image courtesy of CAF. Other images see below.
Working with Global Affairs Canada, CAF personnel assisted with transporting Canadian Entitled Persons and Foreign Nationalists from Israel.
“The security situation in Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip is unpredictable since Hamas’ terror attack on Israel on October 7, 2023, resulting in thousands of casualties,” stated the press release.
Initially, two CC-150 Polaris aircraft were committed to the operation. Between October 12 – 23, 2023, the CAF assisted with departure flights from Tel Aviv, Israel, to Athens, Greece.
Approximately 236 CAF personnel directly supported the assisted departure flights. The personnel were part of an Air Task Force, including air and ground crews, as well as aeromedical staff based out of Athens, Greece.
During that time, the CAF conducted 19 assisted departure flights, evacuating over 1,650 people to safety.
- Thursday, Oct. 12: Two flights transporting 242 passengers.
- Friday, Oct. 13: Two flights transporting 293 passengers.
- Saturday, Oct. 14: Two flights transporting 258 passengers.
- Sunday, Oct. 15: Two flights transporting 314 passengers.
- Monday, Oct. 16: Two flights transporting 169 passengers.
- Tuesday, Oct. 17: Two flights transporting 87 passengers.
- Wednesday, Oct. 18: Two flights transporting 113 passengers.
- Thursday, Oct. 19: One flight transporting 53 passengers.
- Friday, Oct. 20: One flight transporting 28 passengers.
- Saturday, Oct. 21: One flight transporting 15 passengers.
- Sunday, Oct. 22: One flight transporting 35 passengers.
- Monday, Oct. 23: One flight transporting 74 passengers.
West Bank or the Gaza Strip
While the Government of Canada has concluded assisted departure flights from Tel Aviv to Athens, they continue to work on additional assisted departure options for those in the West Bank.
“We are working with partners to explore all options to secure safe passage of Canadian citizens, permanent residents and their eligible families in Gaza. We are in contact with those who have requested assistance and will continue to provide updates as plans are finalized.”
The security situation in Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip is unpredictable since Hamas’ terror attack on Israel on October 7, 2023, resulting in thousands of casualties.
The last scheduled flight took place on 23 October.
“Global Affairs Canada and the CAF have ceased further assisted departure flights as of 23 October 2023. The CAF will continue working closely with Global Affairs Canada to respond rapidly should conditions change and the demand for assisted departures increase. We will continue to monitor the situation,” read the statement.
Canadians Stuck Abroad
The statement noted Canadians in Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip should sign up for the Government of Canada’s Registration of Canadians Abroad service to ensure they receive direct, important updates as the situation evolves and for further information on assisted departures.
Register for Canada’s Abroad Service here.
Family members of a Canadian citizen or of a permanent resident who is currently in Gaza and unable to register with the service to contact Global Affairs Canada’s 24/7 Emergency Watch and Response Centre here.