Manipulation: NATO Does Not Evacuate Civilians from Israel

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Citizens of North Macedonia, Serbia, Montenegro, and Albania, were evacuated from Israel with a “Air Serbia” plane. Photo: Screenshot from a video

NATO is not involved in the evacuation of citizens of three member states, including citizens of North Macedonia. That obligation was taken over by each of the governments separately. The “Air Serbia” flight evacuating Macedonian citizens from Israel was paid from the Budget of North Macedonia, and many officers from the Macedonian diplomatic-consular representations in Tel Aviv were involved in their safe return to the country


We are fact-checking a post on the social network Facebook (screenshot here) claiming the following:

The subjects of “our country” were evacuated from Israel with Air Serbia, while some are temporally sheltered in the Bosnian Embassy. We are NATO.

This manipulative post omits context. The fact that the flight evacuated Macedonian subjects, together with citizens from other neighboring countries belonging to “Air Serbia”, does not imply that NATO needed to be involved in the evacuation or that NATO failed to do something.

The Air Serbia flight evacuating Macedonian citizens from Israel was paid from the Budget of the Republic of North Macedonia, while many officers from Macedonian diplomatic-consular representations in Tel Aviv were involved in their safe return to the country. NATO is not involved in the evacuation of civilians from foreign countries. As one can see from the experience of NATO Member-States – for example, Germany – German air company evacuated the German citizens stuck in Israel with two planes after HAMAS’s attack on 7 October.

As reported by “Reuters”, two German Air Force planes flew to Israel and brought back German subjects who wanted to leave Israel, as reported by the spokesperson for the Defence Ministry of Germany, adding that the planes were not part of a military evacuation.

As one can see from the article published by “Al-Monitor”, the response of the Macedonian government to evacuate Macedonian citizens from Israel is not much different from the responses of other NATO member states. All of them individually, as separate countries, through their governments, evacuated their subjects.

The Italian Foreign Ministry organized seven flights to bring to Italy 700 Italian citizens.

Spanish Defense Ministry organized planes evacuating 200 Spanish subjects and EU citizens.

The Greek government also organized a flight for Greek citizens.

Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Melanie Joly, said in a statement that the government was planning to begin assisting departure for Canadian citizens, according to the article in “Al-Monitor”.

On Tuesday (10.10.2023), US State Department spokesperson, Matt Miller, said that the US government will start arranging charter flights for US citizens and their immediate family members out of Israel on Friday, reported “Al-Monitor”.

Evident from this information is that every country, every NATO Member-State, is organizing sovereign and internal evacuation of its citizens, instead of doing it as part of a common operation that would involve the whole Alliance. Only if the planes have vacancies, the entrance of citizens of other EU countries is allowed.

North Macedonia, however, unlike other NATO and EU member states, does not have its own air transport company. Therefore, transportation was organized through “Air Serbia”.

Maciej Kaczorowski, our diplomat and acting ambassador in the Embassy in Tel Aviv is the hero of the evacuation of our citizens from Israel. He played a key role in extracting our citizens through various transportation routes, tirelessly coordinating the overall process, from the beginning until their safe arrival in North Macedonia. I also acknowledge the work of the Crisis Headquarters within MFA, our diplomatic-consular network and the SOS team that contributed to the evacuation. I am grateful for their constant engagement and dedicated work for the interest and security of our citizens in difficult and military conditions, wrote the Minister of Foreign Affairs of North Macedonia, Bujar Osmani.

The flight, as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of North Macedonia specified, was paid by the Government.

With today’s charter flight from Tel Aviv – organized and paid for by the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia – we brought back the rest of the 67 citizens of ours that requested assistance for their evacuation from Israel. On the same flight we accommodated the requests of our friends by securing the transfer of seven Albanian, seven Montenegrin and three Bulgarian citizens, stated the Foreign Affairs Minister Osmani.

Previously, as reported by Deutsche Welle, 40 Macedonians were evacuated through different routes – four with a flight to Athens, three to Jordan and two to Belgrade. Truthmeter could not find information about Macedonian citizens being sheltered in the embassy of Bosnia and Herzegovina in Israel. Two Macedonian citizens are in the Gaza Strip waiting to leave for Egypt from where they will return to North Macedonia.

Due to all of the above-noted facts we assess that the fact-checked post is omitting context. NATO is not connected with civilian evacuation of citizens of its Member-States, including the citizens of North Macedonia, instead, that obligation was taken over by the governments of each country separately.