Days after signing executive order to rescue Americans trapped in Israel, Ron DeSantis welcomes 270 US citizens home in Florida

News & Politics

Just days after signing an executive order to rescue Americans trapped in Israel following the Hamas surprise attack last weekend, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis welcomed 270 U.S. citizens back home to the United States.

On Thursday, DeSantis signed an executive order to enable the state of Florida to “carry out logistical, rescue and evacuation operations to keep its residents safe” and provide resources to the Florida Division of Emergency Management to bring Americans back home.

Around 7:45 p.m., an airliner touched down at Tampa International Airport in Florida.

The plane transported American passengers from Israel to the United States. The plane contained 270 Americans – including 91 children, plus four dogs. The rescued Americans were not only from Florida, but from all over the country, including New York, New Jersey, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.

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DeSantis and his wife Casey greeted the Americans who were able to escape the war-torn country thanks in part to the Republican governor of Florida – who allocated the funding for the rescue mission.

DeSantis said the plane that landed was the “first flight of people being rescued from Israel.”

“There was a devoid of leadership so we stepped up and led, we’re happy to be able to deliver that,” DeSantis said from the tarmac. “So we’re getting ready to welcome them back to the United States of America.”

The state of Florida partnered with Project Dynamo – a Tampa-based non-profit that provides “assistance to those impacted in disaster areas and conflict zones throughout the world where the U.S. government does not have access or a presence.”

The mission to Israel was dubbed “Operation: Promised Land.”

According to the Project Dynamo website: “Project DYNAMO was established in response to the U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan when hundreds of American Citizens and thousands of our Allies were left behind.”

Project Dynamo has reportedly conducted 602 rescue missions and extricated more than 6,075 people from harm’s way, as well as saving hundreds of pets.

Project Dynamo founder Bryan Stern thanked DeSantis for making the rescue mission possible.

“Big shoutout to Governor DeSantis,” Stern said. “Thank you for your support. Your executive order was a game-changer for us and allowed us to save all these lives.”

Stern said at a press conference, “This is the first time in history at the state level that a state has subsidized an international rescue mission for American citizens.”

Stern said the Americans stuck in Israel approached the U.S. State Department about getting out of the Middle Eastern country. Some U.S. citizens reportedly had flights canceled on them as many as 14 times.

There are an estimated 20,000 U.S. citizens in Israel, according to the U.S. State Department.

As Blaze News previously reported, the Biden administration is still working on arrangements to get Americans out of Israel.

A U.S. State Department email to Americans trapped in Israel states that the government will transport U.S. citizens out of the country, but not back home, and rescuees will need to pay for travel expenses:

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. 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.

TheBlaze founder Glenn Beck is also working hard to get Americans back home from Israel.

Beck teamed up with The Nazarene Fund – an organization that aims to “rescue, rebuild, and restore” Christians and other religious and ethnic minorities around the world. Starting this weekend, planes will rescue Americans marooned in Israel.

Beck said on Instagram, “Thanks to you and our wonderful partners we will land as many planes as we can until everyone is home.”

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