QCOSTARICA — A group of 19 Costa Ricans on an excursion to the Holy Land in Israel when the terrorist attack broke out are seeking to get home to Costa Rica as soon as possible due to growing tensions in the Middle East.
The tourists arrived in Israel last Monday, and although they had originally scheduled their return flight for next Wednesday, the recent escalation of the conflict between Israel and Hamas has led them to look get back home.
“Anything can happen here, we are trying to advance our departure from the country. Although in reality, we feel safe, it is only as a precaution,” Lauren Campos, one of the members of the group, shared her experience with Teletica news.
On Saturday morning the group was visiting the Mount of Olives or Mount Olivet, a mountain ridge in East Jerusalem, when they were surprised by the explosion of missiles launched by Hamas.
These were intercepted by Iron Dome, an Israeli mobile all-weather air defense system.
The group is one of two tourist groups, a total of 54 tourists as confirmed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, on excursions in Israel.
Another Tica, Isabel Martínez, one of the 370 Costa Ricans living in Israel, in a video sent to Teletica expressed the distressing moments during the outbreak of the Hamas attacks on Saturday.
Martínez said she lives close to one of the attack areas, spent the night in a shelter and heard the fall of a bomb near her location.
“It is a crime against humanity”, representative of Israel in Costa Rica narrates the situation that his country is going through. “I repeat it to be clear, terrorists entered Israeli villages, killed and kidnapped Israeli civilians in their homes (…),” said Amir David Rockman, the Israeli consul in Costa Rica, when recounting the situation that is occurring in his country after the attack that the terrorist group Hamas began on Friday night.
“Apart from the indiscriminate launching of rockets and missiles, the terrorists crossed the border into Israeli territory using cars, motorcycles, 4×4 vehicles, on foot and in any way the could,” said the diplomat.
The conflict has already left a significant number of victims, with at least 600 dead in Israel and 400 in the Gaza Strip. In addition, it has been reported that at least 100 hostages have been taken by Hamas, including children, women, and the elderly.