Former US special operations forces, who previously assisted in evacuating Americans from conflict zones in Afghanistan and Ukraine, have now arrived in Israel to help evacuate US citizens amidst escalating conflict in the region. They are working in collaboration with the rescue nonprofit, Save Our Allies, and the Special Operations Association of America. Their immediate mission is to rescue Americans at risk, especially in areas like the blockaded Gaza enclave.
- The US veterans’ rescue mission in Israel was initiated following the Hamas militant group’s attack on Oct. 7, which resulted in the death of approximately 1,400 people, including 30 Americans, with another 13 reported missing.
- The rescue organizations, Save Our Allies and the Special Operations Association of America, are attempting to assist at-risk Americans, especially in the blockaded Gaza enclave where evacuation efforts are particularly challenging due to its closed borders with Israel and Egypt.
- About 1,500 Americans have already departed Israel using transportation sponsored by the U.S. government, while over 3,000 used other means. The US veterans have aided hundreds in connecting with the State Department or leaving on privately chartered planes.
- While many US citizens have reached out to these rescue organizations for assistance, those trapped in Gaza are particularly challenging to assist due to the complexities of the conflict and limited access.
- The security situation in Israel is fluid and can deteriorate rapidly, making it imperative for Americans who have plans to depart to do so as soon as possible.