Flight carrying South Koreans from Israel arrives home

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A flight carrying 192 South Koreans from Tel Aviv arrived at Incheon Airport in South Korea on Wednesday after a surprise attack by Hamas militants on Israel over the weekend forced airlines to suspend flights.

Some 570 South Koreans are estimated to be staying long-term in Israel while around 230 are staying short-term, according to South Korea’s foreign ministry on Wednesday.

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The Ben Gurion Airport was “crowded” and “hectic,” said Jang Jeong-yoon, a 62-year-old who was on board the Korean Air flight home after travelling to Israel to take part in the festival of Sukkot.

“As flights were cancelled or delayed, there was fear and people were rushing to leave the country,” she said.

Some relatives of those on board the plane were seen waiting at Incheon Airport early Wednesday morning.

Around 60 South Koreans who were visiting Israel moved to Jordan on Tuesday, according to the foreign ministry.

No South Korean casualties had been reported, foreign minister Park Jin said on Tuesday. Many of the short-term South Koreans travelers were visiting the country for a pilgrimage.

Korean Air has cancelled flights departing from Incheon to Tel Aviv on Monday and Wednesday and expects future flights to be irregular.

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