Palestinian militant group Hamas carried out a barrage of air strikes in Southern Israel on Saturday. IDF in response launched multiple attacks targeting Hamas’ key infrastructure. So far, over 2,000 people have been killed in Israel and the Gaza Strip in the biggest escalation in decades.
The US will arrange charter flights to facilitate the evacuation of its citizens from Israel after 27 American citizens have lost their lives, and 14 are still unaccounted for, the White House said.The Israeli military reported a death toll of over 1,300 individuals, including 222 soldiers within the country on the sixth day of conflict. In the Gaza Strip, which is controlled by Hamas, the Palestinian militant group, authorities have reported that more than 1,400 people have lost their lives as a result of Israel’s offensive.
“We are all acutely aware of limited availability right now on commercial flights out of Israel and the demand signal by U.S. citizens who may want to depart. The president has asked his team to ensure that we are assisting U.S. citizens who do want to leave Israel and providing them with a safe means of doing that, said John Kirby, Coordinator for Strategic Communications at the National Security Council at the White House.
Beginning tomorrow, the United States government will arrange charter flights to provide transportation from Israel to sites in Europe. They’re still working through some of the details of that to assist U.S. citizens and their immediate family members who have, for whatever reason, not been able to provide commercial transit out of the country, he said.
The US is 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. We are working hard on this, we know there’s a demand signal out there, and we’re going to try the best we can to meet it, he said.
He encouraged American citizens in need of assistance to please complete the intake form on Travel.State.gov.We can now update the number of Americans that we know have been killed to 27 and the number of unaccounted for stands today at 14. We’re obviously doing everything we can to support and inform the families, Kirby said.
Kirby said that it is a common tactic in the Hamas playbook to break up hostages and move them around in small groups. So, we have nothing that would indicate to us that they would follow a different set of protocols, but I can’t stand here before you and prove to you that that is exactly what’s happening, he said.