The US government will begin offering charter flights to transport American citizens and immediate family members who are seeking to leave Israel after the deadly attack by Hamas, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said.
Kirby told reporters at a White House briefing Thursday that the administration does not have an estimate for how many Americans are seeking to leave the country but asked US citizens in Israel who want help evacuating to fill out an intake form on the US State Department website. Kirby said the US is also looking for ways to evacuate its citizens by land and sea.
A State Department spokesman said charter flights would start on Friday.
“These initial transportation options will be augmented in the coming days. Senior State Department officials are actively working with airline carriers and international partners on how best to provide additional options to US citizens seeking to depart Israel or conduct onward travel to the United States,” department spokesman Matthew Miller said in a statement.
Miller said the US would monitor the situation closely, evaluating both the demand for flights and the overall security situation.
Other nations have also begun efforts to help their nationals depart Israel after many major carriers suspended air service to the country.
Delta Air Lines Inc. has had discussions with the federal government about Americans stuck in Israel, Chief Executive Officer Ed Bastian said on a conference call Thursday.
“Right now, we’re looking at providing some additional lift to Europe to get people out of Europe,” he said. “But we don’t have any plans to be flying to Israel. It’s considered unsafe for a US carrier to operate in that airspace currently.”
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