DILI, 16 october 2023 (TATOLI) – The opposition party at the National Parliament asked the government to repatriate 51 Timorese nationals from Israel amid the conflict in Israel and Gaza.
Joaquim do Santos from the Fretilin party urged the government to start preparing evacuation flights for these Timorese citizens over concerns about their safety: “The government must find a solution to protect our citizens in Israel.”
Last week, the Government of Timor-Leste reported that, despite the recent escalation of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian territories, triggered by the Hamas attack on Israeli cities, the 51 Timorese citizens currently in Israel to attend the Agriculture and Horticulture Course at the ARAVA International Agricultural Training Centre (AICAIT) remain safe.
“Timorese citizens currently in Israel are safe, and the Government is preparing for their repatriation,” said in a statement.
The Government of Timor-Leste assures that it will maintain regular contact with these citizens, providing updated information and close coordination with the relevant authorities to ensure their safety.
It is also reported that the Government, in coordination with the competent entities and partners, is gathering the necessary conditions for the safe reparation of Timorese citizens in Israel.
“Constant monitoring of the situation will remain a priority for the Government of Timor-Leste, which will take additional measures, if necessary, to ensure the well-being of its citizens in Israel,” said the statement.
The Government spokesman, Minister Agio Pereira, said: “We are fully committed to ensuring the safety and well-being of our citizens in Israel” and added that “the Government is actively working to establish the necessary conditions for repatriation, in close collaboration with the relevant authorities.”
Last week, AICAT authorities told the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Forestry (MoAFF) that Timorese citizens in Israel remained safe, saying AICAT is located in the Arava region, which is far from the conflict zone in Tel Aviv, and Gaza: “They continue to study as usual.”
Journalist: Camilio de Sousa
Editor: Filomeno Martins