New evacuation planned for Gaza Swedes

The first Swedish evacuees arrived home from war-torn Gaza on Saturday. The foreign ministry is now hopeful that more of the remaining 46 Swedes will be helped to flee the area in the near future.

Staff at the Swedish consulate in Jerusalem are hopeful that the next group of Swedes to leave the besieged Palestinian territory of Gaza will be evacuated by bus in the beginning of next week.

“We have no exact date or time for when it could occur. But over the coming days, I think,” said Kristina Östergren the Swedish consul in Jerusalem said on Sunday.

According to the consulate there are currently 46 Swedes in the Gaza, a greater number than was first believed when the initial group was evacuated.

“A few more have been added to the list since we evacuated the first. So we now have 46 names on the list which we have contact with,” Östergren says.

A large media presence greeted the arrival of the first group of Swedish citizens to arrive home safely from Gaza at Arlanda airport around midday on Saturday.

“I am very happy to be able to meet the children again,” said Moussa Almassri, resident in Uppsala, to the assembled media.

Almassri had been in Gaza to visit his sick mother when Israel launched its aerial bombardment of the Palestinian territory and routes out of Gaza closed.

He was part of a group of 12 Swedes that had managed to leave Gaza and make their way to Jordan.