LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Starting Friday, The U.S. Department of State will operate charter flights and cruise ship travel for Americans seeking to leave Israel, U.S. Rep. Elissa Slotkin (D-Mich. 7th Dist.) announced.
According to Slotkin’s Congressional office, the most important step for Americans trying to leave Israel is to fill out the U.S. Department of State Consular Affairs’ crisis intake form, so that they can get on the list of those who need help leaving.
Slotkin’s office provided the following information:
- When a charter flight or ship becomes available, you will be notified by email or phone. You should be ready to leave within a few hours of getting your notification.
- You will be able to bring one small carry-on and one suitcase. The notification will have more information about baggage instructions and restrictions, so pay close attention to that.
- The flights and ships are not expected to go straight to the U.S. Instead they will go to another country, likely in Europe, and from there, U.S. citizens will be responsible for making arrangements to return home.
- You will have to reimburse the U.S. government for the cost of your travel.
- Keep checking the State Department’s website for the latest information.
In the news release Friday, Slotkin also said U.S. citizens in Gaza who wanted assistance should also fill out the same crisis intake form, but to “be aware that the assistance is severely limited right now.”
The most recent update from the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem Friday said that “we are working on potential options for departure from Gaza for U.S. citizens.”
The U.S. embassy in Jerusalem also said Friday that “some U.S. citizens have successfully departed the area into neighboring Jordan by way of the border crossings, including Allenby Bridge. We encourage you to take advantage of those options if possible.”
Slotkin said in a recent video statement: “I have been really struck by how many Michiganders have personal connections to people in Israel, to people in the Palestinian territories…we should anticipate that as Israel continues to plan a ground operation into Gaza, that there’s going to be more American citizens who are seeking to come out of that area and come home.”
Representatives from Slotkin’s office said you should reach out to her office at 517-993-0510 if you know of any Michigander who needs help trying to leave Israel.