Greek, Israeli and Egyptian authorities collaborated to support the safe evacuation of a group of Greek citizens from Gaza and facilitate their repatriation to Athens.

Using catalogues of Greek citizens in the region, the Greek Ambassador to Tel Aviv Kyriakos Loukakis, to Cario Nikolaos Papageorgiou and the Consul General of Greece in Jerusalem Dimitrios Angelosopoulos worked closely with the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs to instruct citizens on how to evacuate from northern Gaza and Gaza city to Egypt.

The leadership of the monastery of Saint Porphyrius in Gaza city was also in constant contact with Greek and Israeli authorities to ensure that the church was not bombed, as Greeks and unarmed citizens were using it as a refuge.

Greek authorities managed to send euros to Greek citizens in Gaza to facilitate them in purchasing supplies necessary for their journey, as all essentials including gasoline have only been available on the black market since the commencement of bombing, and even arranged for cars to pick up citizens in Rafa.

The evacuation was greatly complicated by the Israelis’ black out of telecommunications in Gaza for a period of 35 hours, during which time only two Greek mobile phones were functioning and able to be used for communications.

The first group of Greeks from Gaza, eleven in total, arrived in Greece via Egypt, and were taken to Elefsina in the western suburbs of Athens.