The Polish military has successfully evacuated 1,504 individuals from Israel, marking the completion of Operation Neon, an ambitious air-bridge initiative undertaken by Poland. The General Command of the Armed Forces (DGRSZ) disclosed that this massive operation involved 27 shuttle flights to transport evacuees from Tel Aviv to the Greek island of Crete, specifically the town of Chania.
The operation, aptly named Neon, was initiated by Poland to ensure the safe return of its citizens and other individuals stranded in Israel. The evacuees were first flown from Tel Aviv to Crete before being further transported to Poland via civilian aircraft. This meticulous operation was executed seamlessly, with the last flight carrying evacuees safely to their destination.
“Operation NEON – task accomplished! Soldiers of the Polish Army evacuated 1,504 Polish citizens and people from other countries from Israel. Dear passengers, we are glad that you are safe! We would like to thank the transport crews for their effort and perseverance! We remain ready,” declared the DGRSZ on Saturday morning, expressing their gratitude and relief for the successful evacuation.
W jednym z samolotów #C130 Hercules w czasie wykonywania zadań podczas operacji #NEON doszło do drobnej usterki poszycia w okolicach statecznika.— Dowództwo Generalne (@DGeneralneRSZ) October 11, 2023
Usterka została naprawiona w ciągu kilku godzin, a samolot jest gotów do kontunuowania operacji NEON. pic.twitter.com/l8a3jWb7LY
Even though the mission had seemingly concluded, Lt. Col. Magdalena Busz, the deputy press spokeswoman of the General Commander of the Armed Forces, revealed that Operation Neon had not been officially completed. She stated that aircraft, including Hercules and Casa planes, were still on standby in Crete, ready to assist if there arose a need to evacuate more citizens. The dedication and preparedness of the Polish troops were evident as they remained vigilant and prepared to act swiftly in the face of any potential emergency.
In addition to evacuating Polish citizens, the Polish military also extended its support to other nations. Six Bulgarian citizens were among those rescued, underscoring the collaborative efforts and solidarity among different countries during times of crisis.
This significant evacuation effort commenced on October 8, a response to the tragic Hamas attack on southern Israel that occurred on October 7, claiming the lives of approximately 1,300 individuals. Poland’s proactive response and effective execution of Operation Neon underscore the nation’s commitment to the safety and well-being of its citizens and fellow global residents in times of adversity.