The White House is arranging emergency evacuation flights for American citizens in Israel

October 13, 2023

The United States has announced plans to initiate the organization of evacuation charter flights for American citizens in Israel. 

This operation is set to commence on Friday, aiming to ensure the safe return of individuals amidst the escalating death toll of Americans resulting from the terrorist attacks carried out by Hamas, as The Daily Wire reported.

In a press briefing held on Thursday, the White House National Security Council spokesperson, John Kirby, made a significant announcement regarding evacuation operations.

The Plan

Kirby revealed that these operations are scheduled to commence on October 13th, with the primary objective of facilitating transportation for American citizens and their immediate families from Israel to various locations in Europe.

“The president has asked his team to ensure that we are assisting U.S. citizens who do want to leave Israel and providing them with a safe means of doing that,” he said.

According to The Associated Press's sources, the United States intends to dispatch at least four charter flights daily.

“They’re still working through some of the details of that, to assist U.S. citizens and their immediate family members who have, for whatever reason, not been able to provide commercial transit out of the country,” Kirby added.

“And I would add that we’re also exploring other options to expand the capacity of doing this, including exploring whether it’s possible to help Americans leave by land and by sea.”

The Attacks

A horrific attack by Hamas on Israel on Saturday has resulted in the deaths of at least 1,300 people, including 27 Americans, and the injuries of almost 3,000 more. According to accounts, there are still 14 missing Americans.

“Sadly, five more families have now gotten the worst possible news that any family can conceive of getting. And we’re going to stay in touch with them as appropriate,” Kirby said.

“Same goes for those family members of those who are unaccounted for — and by unaccounted for, we mean that. We don’t know where they are. They don’t know where they are.”

The White House has said that Hamas terrorists had abducted a "handful" of American hostages in the region.

“So we’re going to obviously stay in touch with them as well,” Kirby also said. “And certainly we’re continuing to work with Israeli officials to make sure that we’re getting as much context and information as possible that we will share with them.”

Speaking with Forbes on Wednesday, a State Department spokesperson said that officials were looking into evacuating Americans "by air, land, and sea to nearby countries" due to the high demand for flights.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken of the United States visited Israel on Thursday to speak with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the Israeli public.

After seeing photos of victims of the Hamas attack, Blinken reportedly said, “So, images are worth a thousand words. These images may be worth a million.”

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