The U.S. government is facilitating transportation for American citizens wishing to leave Israel amid the ongoing conflict with Hamas.
“Commercial availability remains limited out of Ben Gurion Airport. The U.S. government is facilitating charter flight transportation for U.S. citizens; we urge those wishing to leave to take advantage of these charters while they are available,” the U.S. State Department said.
“Flight departures will continue on a rolling basis from Ben Gurion International Airport on Monday, October 16 and Tuesday, October 17. Please go to Ben Gurion International Airport, Terminal 3 if you wish to depart Israel. U.S. Embassy personnel will be present to direct you and provide specific flight information. Be prepared to wait,” the post read.
The U.S. government is also organizing ship departures from Haifa for transport to Cyprus.
“The U.S. government is assisting U.S. nationals and immediate family members with a valid travel document to depart Haifa via sea for Cyprus on October 16, 2023. Boarding begins at 8 AM local time. U.S. citizens must arrive at Haifa port passenger terminal no later than 9 AM local time. Boarding will proceed in order of arrival and is on a space limited basis,” the post read.
However, the evacuation ride won’t be free for American citizens.
They must sign an agreement to repay the U.S. government for the cost of the trip.
🚨JUST IN – American vessels will evacuate US citizens from Northern Israel:
The boat trip from Haifa will not be free, and those who board the ship will need to sign an agreement to repay the U.S. government for the cost of the trip.
Source: Haaretz pic.twitter.com/JjCadpiZAi
— Mario Nawfal (@MarioNawfal) October 15, 2023
A ship for American citizens wishing to leave Israel will be departing from Haifa on Monday morning, the U.S. Embassy in Israel announced Sunday.
The Cyprus-bound boat is designated for “U.S. nationals and their immediate family members with a valid travel document,” the announcement said.
On Friday, the White House and State Department announced the start of chartered flights for American citizens departing Israel to Athens and Frankfurt in order to “facilitate the safe departure of thousands of U.S. citizens.”
White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby told reporters on the same day that the U.S. government was investigating ways to accommodate demand for travel out of Israel, “including exploring whether it’s possible to help Americans leave by land and by sea” to increase capacity.
Monday’s boat trip from Haifa is not free: Those who board the ship, like those who are taking advantage of the chartered flights, will be required to sign an agreement to repay the U.S. government for the cost of the trip.
Those on board will be responsible for arranging their own accommodations and onward travel from Cyprus, adding that if travelers “are unable to secure onward travel from Cyprus, chartered flights are also being arranged.”
Travel to the ship’s departure site in Haifa “is conducted at your own risk, and plans may change depending on the security situation. The U.S. government is unable to guarantee your safety,” the announcement stated.Advertisement
The U.S. State Department writes:
Before boarding the ship, you will be asked to sign a promissory note (agreement to repay the U.S. government) for the cost (available at https://eforms.state.gov/Forms/ds5528.PDF). Having a complete DS 5528 promissory with you on arrival will help expedite your departure process.
ABC 7 aired this video report: