After the attack on Israel by the Islamist Hamas, the federal government wants to use special Lufthansa flights to bring people with German passports out of the attacked country on Thursday and Friday. In addition to flights, there are other ways to leave the country. What you need to know:

German citizens and their family members who have previously registered on the Elefand preparedness list for crisis information can register. According to the Foreign Office on Wednesday, that was 5,000 people.

According to the Foreign Office, the regular entry requirements to Germany apply to foreign family members on special flights – all people must therefore be in possession of valid travel documents and, if necessary, visas or residence permits.

There are more than 100,000 people with German citizenship or dual nationality in Israel. According to previous estimates, 300 to 400 people in the Gaza Strip have a German passport.

All Elefand registered received a so-called compatriot letter from the German embassy in Israel on Wednesday afternoon. It mentions a Lufthansa hotline through which you can register.

The flights are scheduled to take off from Tel Aviv Airport. According to information from the German Press Agency, two flights will go to Munich and two to Frankfurt on Thursday and Friday. The departure times on both days should be 1:30 p.m., 2:30 p.m., 4:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m. (local time). The flights are expected to have a total capacity of around 1,000 people per day.

Yes. A fee of 300 euros per person is due, which is collected directly by the Lufthansa hotline on behalf of the Foreign Office when booking. A credit card is required for this.

In March 2020, around 67,000 people were flown home on 270 charter flights during the global repatriation flights following the outbreak of the corona pandemic, which cost around 95 million euros. According to the consular law, the Federal Republic demanded some of its expenses back from those in need of assistance and set flat rates for this that were below the actual costs.

This practice was confirmed by the Berlin Administrative Court, where around 150 lawsuits against it were received. After the first judgment (ref.: 34 K 33.21), a family of three filed an appeal with the Berlin Higher Administrative Court, which, according to judicial information, has not yet made a decision (ref.: 9 B 13.22). The family didn’t want to pay 1,000 euros per seat for the flight home. The administrative court put the actual costs at 3,300 euros per place.

As in previous cases, the airline acts as a service provider for the Federal Republic. On its own responsibility, the group had already decided on Saturday that its airlines would no longer fly to Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv for safety reasons. The Foreign Office has now announced that Lufthansa is continuing to check whether scheduled flights will be possible again from Sunday due to the situation. Similar to the Corona flights, volunteer crews were sought for the special flights chartered by the government.

Yes. The Federal Foreign Office recommends that those wishing to leave the country contact their tour operator or another airline and regularly check the offers. Commercial flights would continue to operate from Ben Gurion International Airport. Connections to other countries with stopovers in Cyprus should also be considered in order to fly on to Germany from there. Several airlines, notably the Israeli airline El Al, continue to fly to destinations in Europe. El Al is even expanding its flight offerings.

On Wednesday, the Foreign Office also wrote that the airline EasyJet is currently examining whether it can offer flights from Tel Aviv again in the next few days.

Lesser-known companies are also recommended, such as the Cypriot TUS-Airways, which offers direct flights to Düsseldorf, but also Arkia Israeli Airlines, the second largest Israeli airline, or the Israeli airline Israir.

By land: The Foreign Office also recommends that Germans leave the country by land via Jordan. The German ambassador to Israel, Steffen Seibert, said in an RTL interview that the embassy helped about 100 Germans get to the Jordanian capital Amman in four buses. The vast majority of those wanting to leave have already booked a connecting flight from Amman.

By ferry: There are connections between Israeli and European Mediterranean ports. The German embassy in Israel points to a private shipping company that operates the route between Haifa in northern Israel and Cyprus.

Poland had already set up an airlift on Monday to bring its citizens to safety. Switzerland offered its first special flight on Tuesday. Norway, Denmark and Sweden also wanted to organize such flights for their citizens on Wednesday. Shuttle flights planned from Wednesday with an Austrian Army aircraft between Larnaca in Cyprus and Tel Aviv Airport could not take place for the time being due to a technical defect. France wants to bring citizens back to their home country on a special flight this Thursday.

In recent years, the federal government has sent Air Force aircraft and heavily armed soldiers several times to fly German citizens and other people in need of protection out of war zones. Defense Minister Boris Pistorius made it clear on the sidelines of a meeting of the Defense Committee in Berlin that this is now fundamentally possible in the event of an escalation in Israel. And: “We are always ready to do what needs to be done if the situation in Israel and the foreign policy assessment of the Chancellery and the Foreign Office allow it.”

In the federal government, the civilian options and contracts with Lufthansa are first exhausted before the military is deployed.