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White House Assists Americans with Israel Departures

The Biden administration is arranging charter flights for Americans seeking to leave Israel as most major airlines quit service there following Saturday’s attack by Hamas.

White House national security spokesperson John Kirby on Thursday said the administration is aware of the limited availability of commercial flights out of Israel.

“So beginning tomorrow, the United States government will arrange charter flights to provide transportation from Israel to sites in Europe,” Mr. Kirby told reporters during the daily White House press briefing.

U.S. citizens and their immediate family members will be able to access the flights, Mr. Kirby said. The State Department is still finalizing the details, including whether travelers will have to pay.

“We’re also exploring other options to expand the capacity of doing this, including whether it’s possible to help Americans by land and by sea,” Mr. Kirby said. “So again, we’re working hard on this. We know there’s a demand signal out there, and we’re going to do our best to try to meet it.”

Israeli airspace remains open, and the U.S. and Europe are permitting flights to the country, but private airlines say they are increasingly concerned about rocket fire and if their crews could be stranded during any offensive.

A British Airways flight was diverted Wednesday moments before landing because air raid sirens went off near Ben Gurion Airport, 12 miles from Tel Aviv, Israel’s primary flight hub. A Dutch airline on Wednesday canceled a flight, saying the airspace was no longer safe.

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