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October 11, 2023

Pressley, Meng, Malliotakis, Colleagues Urge State Dept to Help Bring Back Americans Seeking to Return From Israel

Nearly 150 lawmakers call on State Dept to use all resources possible to help Americans leave

With most commercial flights canceled due to the attacks, many Americans are unable to book trips back to the U.S.

Text of Letter (PDF)

WASHINGTON — Today, Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley (MA-07) joined Congresswoman Grace Meng (D-NY), Congresswoman Nicole Malliotakis (R-NY), and nearly 150 colleagues on a letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken urging the State Department to use all tools at its disposal help get Americans out of Israel and back home to the United States.

The letter, which is signed by a total of 146 Members of Congress, asks for charter flights and military aircrafts to be considered as options to help evacuate U.S. citizens. With airlines cancelling most commercial flights out of Israel due to the unprecedented, heinous attack by Hamas, many Americans who are in the country are unable to book a return trip home.

“Constituents of mine are seeking a safe way back to the U.S. with no options in sight,” said Rep. Pressley. “It is imperative that civilian safety be a top priority—for Israeli, American and Palestinian civilians alike. I urge the Department of State to prioritize the safe repatriation of all U.S. citizens seeking to leave the region.”

“So many Americans in Israel continue to fear for their safety and want to return home immediately,” said Rep. Meng. “As we support our ally Israel with the necessary security assistance it needs in the coming days and weeks, we must also do everything possible to bring Americans back to the U.S. who are looking to do so. I urge the State Department to make their safe and swift return a top priority. I await Secretary Blinken’s response to our letter.”

“If other countries like Poland have military planes on the ground and conducting evacuations, there’s no reason why the U.S. is not doing the same,” said Rep. Malliotakis. “We need immediate action from President Biden, the U.S. Department of State and Department of Defense to take swift action to get commercial, charter and military planes on the ground to get Americans home as quickly as possible.”

A copy of the letter to Secretary Blinken can be viewed here.