As Israel wages war in response to heinous Hamas terror attacks that left many dead, some American citizens, including Blaze Media employee Ashton DeGroot’s husband and brother-in-law, have been stuck in the Jewish state.
But on Thursday, the U.S. government finally announced plans to help facilitate the evacuation of people stranded in Israel.
DeGroot provided TheBlaze with a copy of a State Department email that her husband received regarding the plans.
“We are writing to update you on U.S. government assistance to depart Israel. We plan to offer transit options beginning on Friday, October 13, but it will take some period of time to schedule everyone seeking to depart. If you choose to take this departure assistance, transportation will be by air to Athens or Frankfurt, or sea from Haifa to Cyprus. You will not be able to choose your destination – we will assign you to the next available flight or ship,” the email reads.
“You will be asked to sign an agreement to repay the U.S. government prior to departure. You should be prepared to arrange your own lodging and onward travel from Greece, Germany or Cyprus to your final destination,” the email states.
NSC coordinator for strategic communications John Kirby said during a press briefing on Thursday that it is known that 27 Americans have been killed and 14 are unaccounted for.
“Starting Friday, October 13, the U.S. government will arrange charter flights to assist U.S. citizens and their immediate family members who have been unable to book commercial transit and seek a safe means of departing Israel. From these locations, individuals will be able to make their own onward travel arrangements to the destination of their choice. These initial transportation options will be augmented in the coming days,” State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said in a statement.
But even before the government’s announcement, people had already been filling the vacuum by helping Americans evacuate.
Save Our Allies, a group that was founded during the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, has been helping evacuate Americans from Israel, the group’s president and founder Tim Kennedy, who is currently a master sergeant with the U.S. Army Special Forces, told TheBlaze.
Kennedy said that in addition to evacuating people from Israel, Save Our Allies is also working to fly medical supplies into the country.
“Hamas is evil,” Kennedy said. “Hamas wants all Jews dead.”
Hamas has committed atrocities. “Hamas terrorists bound, burned, and executed children,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said. Netanyahu has also said that there were kidnappings, including of children, that families were “wiped out in their beds” and that women were “brutally raped” and killed.
Republican Rep. Cory Mills of Florida has also been helping evacuate people out of Israel.
“If Biden and his administration won’t prioritize American lives then I will step up and do his job for him! 77 Americans in 2 days safe and no longer trapped in Israel while Biden thinks of a plan,” Mills tweeted. “This is the second country (Afghanistan 2021 & Israel 2023) we’ve had to save Americans because Biden had no plan and No leadership! This never happened under President Trump!”
Lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle had been pressuring the government to take action to help get Americans out of Israel.
“Since Hamas’ indiscriminate attack on Israel Saturday morning, our offices have received harrowing reports from constituents who remain in Israel and are seeking to return to the United States as soon as possible,” read an October 10 letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken that was signed by a bipartisan group of more than 100 lawmakers. They called for “the State Department to use all resources at its disposal, including charter flights, to help those Americans that remain in Israel and wish to return to the United States.”
Israel at War – Day 5 updatewww.youtube.com
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