Hundreds of Americans have returned to the United States from Israel in recent days in the midst of the. Some U.S. citizens and their family members boarded charter flights from Tel Aviv arranged by federal and even state officials, while others booked commercial trips that brought them home.
Many U.S. citizens were traveling in Israel when the militant group Hamas carried out a horrific terror attack on the country, which responded with retaliatory airstrikes on the Gaza Strip and is expected to invade the Palestinian territory in a ground offensive. Leaving became difficult for many as dozens of major airlines suspended or canceled flights out of the country.
The U.S. State Department started arranging charter flights late last week which are continuing Monday and Tuesday. Some commercial flights are also still operating.
Here’s a look at some of the flights that have carried Americans back to the U.S.
evacuated from Israel on a flight organized by the state of Florida.
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and his wife welcomed a flight that arrived Sunday night at Tampa International Airport, carrying about 270 Americans, including 91 children,reported. Their charter flight traveled from Tel Aviv to Portugal before making its way to Florida.
“Once the plane landed in Tampa, evacuees were able to access resources from multiple state agencies. Additionally, the governor is sending medical supplies, hygiene products, clothing and children’s toys to Israel to help impacted Israelis,” the governor’s office said in a news release.
Seven other evacuees arrived Sunday from Israel on flights to Orlando.
DeSantis signed an executive order last week allowing the Florida Division of Emergency Management to direct resources toward bringing Americans home and transporting supplies back to Israel.
Newark, New Jersey
Multiple flights carrying Americans from Israel landed at airports across New York and New Jersey over the weekend,reported. Americans who had traveled to Israel for Sukkot, the Jewish holiday being celebrated when Hamas launched a devastating terror attack on the country Oct. 7, were among the passengers returning home to the U.S.
Esther Hamilton, an Indiana resident who arrived on a flight from Israel to Newark Liberty International Airport on Sunday, described some of the violence that has erupted in Israel and Gaza since that initial attack two weekends ago.
“We’ve seen rockets going off in the air, smoke rising. But there’s lots of hurting people over there, lots of refugees,” Hamilton told CBS New York.
Other families recalled hiding in bomb shelters and trying frantically to book flights that were ultimately canceled before they were eventually able to return home.
Three additional flights landed in Newark on Monday. One passenger traveling from Israel, Batya Daken, was reunited with her grandparents when she arrived.
“My heart is with my family,” Daken told. “I have seven other siblings in Israel and I have people that I know, friends that I know that are in the army, friends that I know that got killed.”
New York City
CBS New York reporter Kristie Keleshian talked to a family of nine that boarded a U.S.-government facilitated
charter flight from Israel after a month-long trip, landing in London before returning to John F. Kennedy International Airport. They live in Monsey, which is upstate along the Hudson River.
“We were scared to get out, and we couldn’t get back to New York,” one woman in the group said.
Eliya Bivas, a young Long Island resident who traveled to Tel Aviv with her grandmother and roommate, told CBS New York they were able to leave by boarding a U.S. charter flight to Cyprus because securing a trip back to the U.S. on a commercial airline was difficult.
“Everything was either extremely expensive or not soon enough. Like, it would be in like two weeks or like in a week and a half, and by then, it’s not safe to stay there that long,” Bivas said.
Some Midwesterners who were in Israel at the start of the war landed Saturday at O’Hare International Airport,reported. Scott Forester, a resident of Madison, Wisconsin, arrived in Chicago after finding a flight from Israel to Berlin. He traveled from the German capital to Washington, D.C., before landing in Chicago.
“I’m very grateful to be here, but I’m also … my heart is just heavy and sad, because of the people that I left behind,” Forrester told CBS Chicago. Another group of Wisconsin residents, including some parishioners from Kenosha, returned home over the weekend after taking a direct flight from Jordan, according to the news station.
Denial of responsibility! Planetconcerns is an automatic aggregator around the global media. All the content are available free on Internet. We have just arranged it in one platform for educational purpose only. In each content, the hyperlink to the primary source is specified. All trademarks belong to their rightful owners, all materials to their authors. If you are the owner of the content and do not want us to publish your materials on our website, please contact us by email – [email protected]. The content will be deleted within 24 hours.