Three Israel filmmakers who had been arrested in Nigeria arrived back in Israel on Thursday morning.
Foreign Minister Yair Lapid (Yesh Atid) said: "I am very happy that Rudy, Andrew, and David have been released from a Nigeria prison and returned this morning to Israel."
"I thank the staff of the Foreign Ministry, the Consular Branch, and especially the Nigerian authorities and the Chargé d’Affaires in Nigeria, Yotam Kreiman, for their unending efforts to bring about the release. The emissaries of the State of Israel, around the world, have once again proven that they stand on guard and help every Israeli in distress."
Rudy Rochman, Andrew (Noam) Leibman and Edouard David Benaym, who were arrested as they attempted to film a documentary, were released Wednesday thanks to aid from the Israeli Embassy in Abuja. They arrived in Israel Thursday morning.
The trio were arrested three weeks ago in Nigeria's state of Anambra, on suspicion of cooperating with an extremist separatist organization. Since then, various branches of the Foreign Ministry have been working to free them.
On Wednesday, the Nigerian authorities released the men, and Kreiman, who had been in touch with the filmmakers and their families on a daily basis, accompanied them until they took off.
The three thanked the Israeli Foreign Ministry and praised the cooperation between the embassies of Israel, the US, and France in Nigeria, who worked together with the Nigerian authorities and kept in touch with them during their time in prison.
Kreiman also thanked Chabad of Abuja for providing the three with kosher food, and the Nigerian authorities for their cooperation in bringing about the Israelis' release.