Lithuanian authorities dispatched a Spartan military aircraft to the Middle East on Wednesday, October 11, following Hamas’ surprise attack on Israel on October 7, and kept the aircraft on standby in Turkey until October 15. In total, Spartan conducted three evacuation flights last week, transporting 95 people, mostly Lithuanian citizens, from Tel Aviv to Antalya. Many of them decided to return to Lithuania on their own.

The last flight, on Saturday, October 14, completed the aircraft’s mission because there were no other Lithuanian citizens willing to evacuate from Israel to Turkey, according to the National Crisis Management Centre (NKVC). The passengers included a group of about 40 pilgrims who were in the Israeli-occupied West Bank during Hamas’ weekend attacks on Israel.

According to the NKVC, Lithuanians remaining in Israel can seek assistance from the Lithuanian embassy, which will provide information on planned flights. Latvia, Belgium, and France are planning evacuation flights in the near future, the Foreign Ministry said.

According to information provided by Lithuanian authorities about 7,000 Lithuanian citizens live in Israel and about 450 others were temporarily visiting the country.