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400 Israelis Rescued from Egypt

A 16-hour ordeal ended safely Monday with 400 Israelis rescued from Egypt on two El Al planes. Hundreds of US citizens and others are leaving too.
By Chana Ya'ar
First Publish: 1/31/2011, 7:37 PM / Last Update: 1/31/2011, 7:31 PM

Flash 90

The night winds were especially cold in Egypt Sunday night as hundreds of Israelis waited silently for two El Al planes to take them home.

For more than 16 hours, in fact, 400 Israelis waited in the Cairo airport before the two aircraft were able to lift off the tarmac safely.

By Monday morning, the ordeal had ended with both planes landing at Ben Gurion International Airport.

The United States meanwhile had just begun its own evacuations, with about 900 American citizens waiting in the airport amid growing concerns about the rising protests.

A "million-man" march was slated to take place in the capital on Tuesday, planned by opposition forces who remained determined to oust President Hosni Mubarak from his 30-year reign.

Many cruise lines and airlines have cancelled their flights to and from Cairo indefinitely, among them EgyptAir and Delta, which both fly the New York route.

According to a "tweet" from the U.S. Embassy in Cairo, more than 2,400 American citizens have requested evacuation assistance. At present there are some 52,000 U.S. citizens in Egypt.

The Associated Press reported Monday that a U.S. military plane arrived from Egypt at Lanarca Airport in Cyprus carrying 42 American Embassy officials and their families. At least one more aircraft was expected with another 180 people. Two more flights were also headed to Athens, each carrying 177 passengers, according to the New York Times.