Israeli in Dubai: "Leave us out of our country" • Almog stays in Turkey: "Money is running out" • My family returned: "We have girls in high school" • Snapshot
Ben Gurion Airport this week, before closing
Ben Gurion Airport has been closed to commercial flights for more than 24 hours. Following the unusual decision, which received quite a few criticisms, thousands of Israelis who failed to return to Israel were stranded in Dubai, Turkey, Seychelles, the United States and other countries.
On Monday, we published the story of three Israelis who got stuck abroad without knowing when they could return to Israel.
At present, according to sources in the Ministry of Transportation, no rescue flights are planned.
Negotiations are underway for the operation of one daily flight to Frankfurt, which is a major airport in Europe, from which it is possible to continue to almost any point in the world.
Only those who receive special approval from the Exceptions Committee will be allowed to board this flight.
Israelis stuck in Turkey // Photo: David Katz
Israelis stuck in Turkey // Photo: David Katz
Now, less than 48 hours since the closure, WhatsApp groups of all those Israelis stranded abroad have been formed. This coming Sunday, there is growing pressure on the government to allow all those Israelis who are stuck there to return to Israel.
An Israir cargo flight to Dubai will depart tomorrow, and it is unclear whether Israelis will be able to board it on the way back to Israel.
The Israelis in the group are angry about the lack of organization on the issue.
"It cannot be that tomorrow is the flight and no one has informed us if it is possible to return to Israel with it. The State of Israel requires negative corona tests from the last 72 hours and it must allow us to do so, otherwise we will not be able to return," said Ray.
"It does not make sense that in Greece we are accepted and in Israel we are not"
The decision to close the sky was made and made in a very short time of less than 48 hours, which put all those thousands of Israelis in a position where they had to perform a quick corona check, find a flight and buy a ticket - which in many cases sold for five times the average price.
The situation has led to the fact that, as mentioned, thousands remain in various countries around the world.
In a conversation with Israelis in Dubai, they say that some of them already plan to fly to Greece, because living there is cheaper.
"It does not make sense for Israelis to be accepted in Greece, but in Israel they are not accepted, this is our country and they left us out," said an Israeli woman who is stuck in Dubai.
As we announced earlier this week, land border crossings remain open at this time as well.
Many Israelis are considering the possibility of flying from different countries to Jordan or Egypt, and from there travel to Israel and enter through land crossings.
"There is a sense of distrust"
Apart from Dubai, there are quite a few Israelis who are also stuck in Turkey.
Ruthi Dbesh from Netanya came to Istanbul for dental implants.
"I am currently nearing the end of my dental treatment and I have a flight on Monday evening," she tells Israel Today, "I am very hopeful that by then they will open the sky."
One of the Israelis stuck in Turkey is David Katz, owner of a hair transplant company in the country.
"In the 90th minute, we were informed that we needed to buy a plane ticket. It happened when we landed," he tells Israel Today.
He notes that "there are people here who have small children at home, there are people who need to return to their lives in Israel. We tried to help in front of the health and foreign ministries."
Katz adds that "people are stuck here without money and we must be rescued, a way in which people can help us. People must return home. There is a sense of distrust, we did everything we could to get out of here, we tried to buy plane tickets, but we could not make it. "Corona test. We bought tickets for the last flight and were not picked up, because the test results have not yet arrived."
"Want to get to Israel soon"
"I am after surgery and I was supposed to return on January 30, but the flight was canceled," explains Marina Petah Tikva.
"Closing the sky was decided on exactly one day, I was still with bandages and barely moving, how could I fly back that day?"
She said, "It is unbelievable that the State of Israel does not return its citizens home, they throw us like that, in a country that is not ours, without knowing even when we can return."
Almog Oved and Dor Meshulam from Beit Aryeh arrived in Istanbul as part of a group of seven people who took off for Turkey for a hair transplant, some of them parents of small children.
"At the moment, the money situation is still reasonable, but it is running out," an employee told Israel Today. "Today we are moving into a shared apartment with several Israelis together to save costs."
The Hazrati family came to Izmir for the celebration of Rabbi Chaim Pelagie.
These are six people from Ariel - Chaya, Yitzhak, Leah, Hoodia, Natalie Ahava and Adele.
"Today we are boarding a flight to Istanbul to join the rest of the Israelis," they told Israel Today, "We want to get to Israel soon because we have two girls in the 11th and 12th grades - and they must get to school."
A young couple from the southern region, parents of a four-month-old baby, went on a short vacation during which they were informed of the closure of the sky.
"We have been informed of this from moment to moment, and now our baby is in the country and we must return to take care of him," they said.
"We took into account that the holiday would be short because it is really impossible to say goodbye to it for a long time, but the state will simply lock us out. We are in a state of helplessness and very much hope that the state will recover soon."
Ben Gurion Airport is closed to commercial flights until at least Sunday, and the decision is expected to be extended by a few weeks. Tonight, a flight of the American Delta company that received an exceptional permit will take off from Israel, with passengers receiving special permits to leave the country.