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The US State Department announced Thursday it has secured chartered flights to begin evacuating Americans still trapped in Israel.
The effort comes days after the worst attack in Israel’s history killed over 1300 people, including at least 27 Americans.
State Department officials will send flights and ships into the country to retrieve Americans who wish to leave.
According to an email sent to those waiting for evacuation, roughly 8-12 hours notice will be given to access transport out to Europe. From there, citizens will be able to arrange their own travel back to the United States.
Those wishing to connect with the Embassy to arrange support or travel out of Israel should complete this intake form.
In addition to evacuating Americans, the United States has also announced it will freeze the $6 billion recently allocated to Iran in exchange for the release of Americans held captive in the country.
That $6 billion comes from oil sanctions placed on Iran, not US taxpayer dollars. It was sent to Qatar through South Korea, where it has been in a secure account. The nation of Qatar agreed to work alongside the United States to prevent Iran from accessing the funds.
Despite claims from some American politicians, no evidence has emerged linking Iran to the planning or execution of the attack.
As Americans in Israel are evacuated, many are still feared to be held captive in Gaza
US and Israeli intelligence suggest as many as 150 people are still being held hostage in Gaza by Hamas terrorists.
It is still unclear how many of these individuals are American citizens.
At a convening of Jewish leaders at the White House Wednesday, Biden vowed his administration is working to identify and rescue American hostages.
“We’re working on every aspect of the hostage crisis in Israel, including deploying experts to advise and assist with the recovery efforts,” Biden told members of the media, stressing he could not reveal details of the administration’s efforts to protect the safety of the hostages.
“I have not given up hope that we can get them home,” the president continued. “But the idea that I’m going to stand here before you and tell you what I’m doing is bizarre.”
As the war enters its sixth day, more than 2,700 people have already lost their lives.
In addition to the 1,300 Israeli’s killed in Hamas’s attack, more than 1,400 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza.
According to officials, the United States is urging the Israeli government to set up humanitarian corridors to allow both Palestinians and Americans in Gaza to safely escape.
Israel has dropped leaflets urging Gaza residents to flee neighborhoods occupied by Hamas amid a bombing campaign. It’s unclear if those humanitarian corridors will be established as a ground invasion by Israeli troops becomes increasingly likely.