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As reported by Chaim V’Chessed, the US Department of State intends to assist in the evacuation of US citizens stranded in Israel. Now, initial details of the plan have been released.

The State Department has sent the following communique to US citizens who registered with the Department.

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.

Chaim V’Chessed has learned that United Airlines will be bolstering service from Athena to Newark, to service passengers seeing there from Tel Aviv.

It should be noted that passengers will need to assume financial responsibility for their travel. The cost is not yet known. Elected officials, such as Rep. Mike Lawler (R-NY) have vocally criticized the US government decision to charge its citizens for the transportation costs.

Chaim V’Chessed will continue to provide information as more details become available.

Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), who has been pushing for the immediate evacuation of American citizens stranded in Israel, issued the following statement on the Biden Administration’s announcement that it “will plan” to facilitate “departure assistance:”

            “In response to the multiple requests I have made to the Biden Administration since Saturday, the State Department advised me this afternoon that it is working on ‘plans’ and will be facilitating ‘departure assistance’ over the next few days. 

            I will continue to demand that their ‘plans’ are comprehensive, broadly applicable and for real.

            Earlier today I urged the Biden Administration to stop wasting time and immediately secure the evacuation of US citizens who are stranded in Israel - as many other countries have already successfully done for thousands of their own citizens.

            My urgent plea came after I first requested evacuation assistance from State Department officials on Saturday and wrote directly to President Biden on Monday urging him to use all appropriate US resources and tools to arrange for their immediate evacuation.

            It appears, now subsequent to my consistent efforts, there may be a break in the State Department’s initial objections and protestations.

            The Biden Administration must act swiftly to catch up for lost time and work around the clock to bring these Americans home. The dangers they face are so grave, and the responsibility of the US Government for their safety so paramount, that their evacuation must be secured now.”

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