Israel repatriates citizens from Europe in largest reservist call-up since 1973

In an unprecedented move, the Israeli Air Force (IAF) coordinated a large-scale repatriation to bring back hundreds of Israeli citizens from Europe. The operation comes as Israel faces a growing conflict with Hamas militants in the Gaza Strip. The repatriation was carried out in collaboration with the Israeli Foreign Ministry and involved C-130 and C-130J heavy transport aircraft.
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In an unprecedented move, the Israeli Air Force (IAF) coordinated a large-scale repatriation to bring back hundreds of Israeli troops from Europe. (Picture source: Wikimedia )

Admiral Daniel Hagari of the IAF announced that Israel had mobilized 300,000 reservists for active duty, marking the largest mobilization since the 1973 Yom Kippur War. "We have never mobilized so many reservists to such a scale. We're going on the offensive," Hagari said. The Israeli government also approved the mobilization of up to 360,000 reservists, further underscoring the scale of the operation.

As Israel steps up airstrikes on what it identifies as Hamas strongholds, the United States continues to step up its support for the country. The support comes amid concerns among defense officials about the possibility of a second front opening along Israel's northern border.

The IAF used two Hercules transport planes to fly to various countries in Europe to repatriate Israelis. The operation was meticulously coordinated with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, emphasizing the urgency and scale of the mobilization. The IDF spokesperson noted that the rapid mobilization was completed in just 48 hours, a feat never before achieved.

Israel's reserve pool is estimated at around 400,000, with around 100,000 on active duty at any time. Many of these reservists were sent to strengthen defenses in the north, particularly after the army thwarted terrorist infiltrations from Lebanon into western Galilee. Others are expected to be deployed to the Gaza Strip as part of an anticipated IDF invasion.

The large mobilization and repatriation operation marks a watershed moment in Israel's ongoing conflict with Hamas. With the largest call-up of reservists in decades and the logistical feat of repatriating troops from Europe, Israel is demonstrating its commitment to decisively addressing the worsening situation in the Gaza Strip.