According to prior reports, Chaim V’Chessed continues to receive a deluge of calls from tourists who came to Israel for Sukkos and are now trapped since their flights home have been cancelled.
The majority of airlines have stopped flying to and from Israel. No direct flights are running to or from the USA, with the exception of El Al. Some other significant airlines are still in business, like Turkish Air and British Air.
Many charter flights scheduled to depart Israel have been discussed. These flights haven’t really materialized as of yet.
The few that do appear to be ready to work have already sold out. Some tourists have been able to buy tickets to arbitrary locations like Athens, Cyprus, and Dubai and then return home from there.
Chaim V’Chessed has discussed a way for these US citizens to go back to their own country with representatives of the State Department.
We haven’t observed many concrete actions or firm plans from them, though. There is no emergency, according to the officials, and the airport is open. While it is true that Ben Gurion Airport is still operational, there are hardly any flights, so this is misleading.
We have spoken with many elected officials who are working to improve the issue. Rep. Mike Lawler (R-NY) urged Secretary of State Anthony Blinken to take action in this alarming situation in a letter.
It would undoubtedly be advantageous if additional Congressmen and Senators joined this initiative. Last but not least, a report making the rounds on the Internet asserts that the US is thinking about removing its residents using US Navy boats.
To the best of our knowledge, this report has no foundation or official support.