Israel airlifts military reservists from Europe

The Cabinet approves further mobilization.

By Pesach Benson | | Topics: Gaza, Hamas
IDF reservists board an Israel Air Force Hercules transport plane in an undisclosed European country, Oct. 9, 2023. Credit: IDF.
IDF reservists board an Israel Air Force Hercules transport plane in an undisclosed European country, Oct. 9, 2023. Credit: IDF.

Hundreds of Israelis in Europe were airlifted home on Tuesday morning to be mobilized for reserve duty.

Two Hercules transport planes were flown to a number of European countries to repatriate the Israelis, the Israel Defense Forces said.

IDF spokesperson Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said on Monday that 300,000 reservists have been mobilized for duty.

The IDF “has never mobilized so many reservists so quickly—300,000 reservists in 48 hours,” Hagari said. The number is the largest mobilization since the Yom Kippur War of 1973.

Also on Tuesday morning, the Israeli government approved the mobilization of up to 360,000 reservists.

Israel’s pool of reservists who could be called up is estimated to be around 400,000. It’s believed that some 100,000 reservists are on active duty at any given time.

Many have been sent to reinforce defenses in the north, where the army killed terrorists infiltrating from Lebanon in the Western Galilee on Monday. Others may be sent into the Gaza Strip in an anticipated IDF invasion.

Israeli forces on Monday regained control of all the communities near the Gaza Strip after two days of fighting. Hagari said on Tuesday that 50 Israeli families have already been notified their missing loved ones are being held captive in Gaza.