MIAMI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, FLA. (WSVN) - The United States, along with the Israeli government, are mobilizing together to get Americans who are still in Israel out of harm’s way.
On Friday morning, there were several tearful reunions as people arrived at Miami International Airport. The flights to get out of Israel were far and few, and for those who were able to catch a flight, it was an expensive endeavor.
7News cameras captured a family who were able to make it to South Florida. They were in Israel when the attacks broke out.
Ita and Shoval flew out Saturday and left their child with some family. Now, with some help from the U.S. government, they were able to reunite with their daughter.
It was the first time they were able to hold their daughter in over a week.
“Today, we are in 2023, we are not in 1943,” the father said. “We strong. The United States stands with us and thank God guys, thank God, my baby come. Shabbat Shalom”
Many families, like Akiva Friend’s, were in Israel for the high holidays.
“I feel strongly connected to Israel, and while I knew I needed to get my family out, I also felt like I wanted to stay,” Friend said.
“Just before the end of the holidays, the attack, everybody knows, and it’s sick,” a passenger said. “We don’t have shelter know in our house so we have a hallway that we’re standing in and wait for the boom.”
Now, coming back to South Florida, they’re safe but with broken hearts.
“It’s very scary to think that something’s happening out of my control, I can’t protect my family,” Friend said. “We’re sleeping, the sirens go off, we run, grab the kids, run to the bomb shelter, come back, sirens go off again, run, grab the kids, you’re hearing all the explosions in the background, which is the Iron Dome intercepting all the missiles. Thank God they have that system.”
In an effort to help U.S. residents who are attempting to flee Israel, Twenty-eight-year-old Nicole from Miami was able to organize an emergency chartered flight out of the war-torn region for 155 passengers.
Among them was Ori David Meyer, who said he found himself running out of options after war broke out this past weekend.
“I went to to Tel Aviv to visit my family after three years that I didn’t see them,” he said.
Speaking with 7News on Thursday, Nicole said she knew in her heart she had to help some way, somehow. She said she found a New York-based travel agent who helped her charter the plane.
“I mean, we quickly filled that flight up; it was crazy. Like, we were a bit nervous that, you know, we spent all this money on an aircraft, and it wouldn’t get filled, but like, it was filled within a few hours,” Nicole said.
More flights like this could be possible.
The Biden administration announced that charter flights are being arranged for U.S citizens who are trying to get out of Israel. Those flights began Friday and passengers will be taken to cities across Europe.
The administration is also looking into evacuation routes by land and by sea.
When asked if the U.S would send in troops to help, John Kirby with the National Security Council had this to say: “If there’s a need to do more or to do it differently, well, by goodness, we’ll, we’ll do that.”
Nicole organized another charter flight, which is expected to leave out Israel at some point this weekend.
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