Over 200 Israelis and Ethiopian Jews have been rescued from Ethiopia on Thursday afternoon amid ongoing violence in the country.

The news was announced in a joint statement from Israel’s Prime Minister’s Office and Israel’s Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem.

A total of 174 Israeli citizens and Jews eligible for aliyah visas were evacuated on three planes from the besieged city of Gondar, while 30 others were rescued from the city of Bahir Dar, the statement noted.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hailed the “quick, quiet and – above all – successful” inter-ministerial operation.

“Israeli citizens and people eligible for aliyah from Ethiopia became in distress in areas of combat. I directed that they be brought out of there,” he said.

Israel “looks after its citizens wherever they are,” he added.

“We will welcome them [to Israel] with warmth and blessings,” the prime minister said.

Foreign Minister Eli Cohen said “Israel will not stand aside and leave even one Israeli behind.”

“I am proud of the personnel from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Israeli Embassy in Ethiopia for their quick and high-level action.

The operation comes as violent clashes arose between the Ethiopian Army and the FANO militia in the Amhara province, trapping some 150 Israelis.

The Prime Minister’s Office organized the rescue flights in collaboration with the Jewish Agency for Israel, including volunteers from the organization’s Project TEN. Jewish Agency chairman Maj. Gen. (res.) Doron Almog praised all those involved in Thursday’s “courageous operation.

“Now our staff will support and embrace the rescued individuals with care and sensitivity,” said Almog. “We initiated this rescue operation as part of our shared commitment and strong dedication to our people. We won’t break our promise; we won’t abandon in the field any Jew who needs our help.”

This year, we want to do more to bless Israel and the Jewish people.

We know that as we bless Israel this year, God will bless us, just as He promised in Genesis 12:3, “I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” Now is the time to bless Israel and the Jewish people.