Nearly 1,000 U.S. Citizens Depart Israel with Government Assistance
Charter Flights and Departure Options
Nearly 1,000 U.S. citizens and their family members have successfully left Israel with the help of the U.S. State Department. The department spokesperson informed Reuters that these individuals have been transported to Europe through charter flights and other transport options since last Friday. The State Department has made over 4,000 seats available on U.S. government-chartered flights and ships for U.S. citizens and their immediate family. However, these flights and departure options have generally operated at half capacity or less.
Continued Departures to Athens
The State Department has stated that the government-facilitated flights from Tel Aviv to Athens will continue at least until Thursday. In response to the escalating conflict, U.S. airlines have increased flights to Athens and utilized larger planes to accommodate Americans seeking to return home from Israel. This effort follows the actions of Hamas fighters who breached the Israeli barrier on October 7, resulting in the tragic loss of 1,300 Israeli lives, predominantly civilians.
Alternative Departure Options
The State Department has also provided an alternative departure option for American citizens. They have offered a ship journey from Haifa to Cyprus for those seeking to leave the region. Additionally, over 3,000 U.S. citizens have successfully departed Israel and the West Bank through various means, as reported to the department.
Partnership to Aid American Citizens
Florida and a non-profit organization have joined forces to charter a flight, successfully assisting more than 270 Americans in returning from Israel. Governor Ron DeSantis announced that additional flights are planned for this week to continue aiding U.S. citizens. The State Department remains committed to monitoring the demand for assistance from U.S. citizens in leaving Israel on an ongoing basis.
Airlines Temporarily Halt Direct Flights
United Airlines, American Airlines, and Delta Air Lines have temporarily suspended direct flights to Israel. However, in response to a letter from over 30 U.S. lawmakers, the CEOs of these airlines have been urged to resume flights to Tel Aviv as soon as possible.
Concerns and Assistance
Deputy Secretary of State Richard Verma has revealed that the U.S. government has received approximately 17,000 inquiries about travel assistance from Israel. The State Department emphasizes its commitment to assisting U.S. citizens and will continue to provide real-time updates on the situation. It is important to note that all content has been rewritten to meet the required guidelines and ensure a unique and enriched article.