OAN’s Abril Elfi
11:57 AM – Sunday, October 15, 2023
The United States Embassy announced that Americans who want to leave Israel and escape the ongoing conflict will have the opportunity to do so by sea.
On Sunday, the Embassy announced in a security alert that a ship would leave Haifa, which is a northern Israeli port city, on Monday October 16th and arrive in the Port of Limassol in Cyprus.
“The U.S. government is assisting U.S. nationals and their immediate family members with a valid travel document to depart Haifa via sea for Cyprus on October 16, 2023,” the security alert said. “Boarding begins at 0800 AM local time. U.S. citizens must arrive at Haifa port passenger terminal no later than 0900 AM local time.”
According to the advisory, before boarding the ship, Americans must first sign a written agreement committing to repay the U.S. government for their travel expenses.
The embassy also said that preparations are subject to change, depending on Israel’s security situation, and the government cannot guarantee any interested parties’ complete safety.
Americans will be in charge of planning hotels, flights, and travel to and from Cyprus. Meanwhile, U.S. embassy employees will be available to offer assistance and chartered flights are currently being “arranged.”
The trip from Haifa to Cyprus will reportedly take between 10 and 12 hours.
This comes as the White House and State Department announced on Friday that they had launched chartered aircrafts from Israel to Athens and Frankfurt, in order to “facilitate the safe departure of thousands of U.S. citizens.”
According to reports, additional flights have been scheduled between Tel Aviv and Athens until at least October 19th and more than 400 Americans have already signed up for the first flight.
John Kirby, a spokesman for the White House, also claimed that the government was still considering additional strategies for evacuating Americans.
“We’re just trying to add to the options,” Kirby said.
Media reports stated that between 160,000 and 170,000 Americans are currently residing in Israel as tourists, residents, or in other capacities, including up to 600 American citizens in Gaza.
The State Department issued a Level 3 travel advisory for Israel, advising Americans to “reconsider travel” to the nation.
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