- Evacuation Plans: The U.S. government will facilitate charter flights and sea voyages for U.S. citizens unable to depart Israel via commercial routes.
- Flight Destinations: The charter flights will transport evacuees to Athens, Greece or Frankfurt, Germany, while sea voyages will be from Haifa, Israel to Cyprus.
- Travel Advisory: The State Department has updated its travel advisory, urging Americans to reconsider travel to Israel and the West Bank, and strictly advising against travel to Gaza.
Following the attacks on Israeli communities by Hamas militants and the subsequent retaliatory airstrikes by Israel on the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, major U.S. airlines have halted flights to Israel. In response, the U.S. government is stepping in to provide evacuation options for stranded Americans and their immediate families.
State Department spokesperson, Matthew Miller, revealed that the evacuation process will begin on Friday. Those requiring assistance are encouraged to complete a designated form. Upon arrival in Athens or Frankfurt, or by sea to Cyprus, evacuees can then make further travel arrangements to their final destinations. The State Department has set specific guidelines for the evacuation, including luggage restrictions and the requirement for travelers to reimburse the government for the evacuation costs.
As the security situation in Israel remains fluid, the duration and frequency of these evacuation efforts will be influenced by several factors, including the availability of commercial transportation and the demand from U.S. citizens. Miller also indicated that more travel options would be introduced in the forthcoming days. Some airlines are also increasing flights to Athens to facilitate travel between Israel and the U.S.
|For Further Reading|
|The ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas has deep-rooted historical, political, and religious dimensions. The recent escalation has further strained the already tense relationship between the two entities. Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip, is designated as a foreign terrorist organization by the U.S. government. The ongoing blockade of Gaza by Israel, in place since Hamas took control in 2007, has been a significant point of contention. For a detailed understanding of the Israel-Hamas conflict, refer to the Wikipedia article on the Israeli–Palestinian conflict.|
Why is the U.S. government arranging evacuation flights for Americans in Israel?
Due to the recent terrorist attacks by Hamas and subsequent retaliatory actions by Israel, major U.S. airlines have suspended flights to Israel, leaving many Americans stranded.
Where will the evacuation flights and sea voyages transport the evacuees?
The charter flights will take evacuees to Athens, Greece or Frankfurt, Germany, while sea voyages will transport them from Haifa, Israel to Cyprus.
What is the U.S. government’s current travel advisory for Israel and Gaza?
The State Department advises Americans to reconsider travel to Israel and the West Bank. For Gaza, the advisory is more stringent, with a “Do not travel” warning.