US State Dept. to charter flights for Americans stranded in Israel

The US State Department announced plans to begin chartering flights on Friday for Americans stranded in Israel. US carriers American Airlines, United Airlines, and Delta all suspended service in and out of Israel in the wake of the attacks by Hamas.

"We are all acutely aware of limited availability right now on commercial flights out of Israel and the demand signal by US Citizens who may want to depart," said John Kirby, national security council spokesperson. "The president has asked his team to ensure that we are assisting US Citizens who do want to leave Israel and providing them with a safe means of doing that."

Kirby said the chartered flights will provide transportation from Israel to sites in Europe.

"I would add that we're also exploring other options to expand the capacity of doing this, including exploring whether it's possible to help Americans leave by land and by sea," said Kirby.

Israel's El Al airlines is perhaps the only carrier at the moment to announce plans to add flights to Israel. The airline says it will fly on the Jewish Sabbath for the first time since 1982 to bring army reservists back to Israel from the US and Asia.    


Israel orders the evacuation of 1.1 million people from northern part of Gaza ahead of feared ground offensive

Israel’s military on Friday directed the hundreds of thousands of residents in Gaza City to evacuate "for their own safety and protection," ahead of a feared Israeli ground offensive.