Florida Governor Declares State of Emergency to Support Evacuation and Relief Efforts in Israel-Hamas Conflict

Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has declared a state of emergency in response to the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas. The declaration allows the Florida Division of Emergency Management to bring Floridians home and transport necessary supplies to Israel.[0] There are more than 20,000 Americans, including many Floridians, in Israel who wish to return home but have been unable to do so due to travel disruptions caused by the conflict.[1] The state of emergency also activates the Florida National Guard and Florida State Guard as needed.[2] DeSantis has authorized the allocation of funds from the Emergency Preparedness and Response Fund to support evacuation and relief efforts.[3]

The decision to declare a state of emergency and provide support to Israel comes as tensions continue to escalate between the two sides.[4] Hamas, a designated foreign terrorist organization by the U.S. Secretary of State, launched a surprise attack on Israel, prompting a military response. The conflict has resulted in widespread violence and civilian casualties.

Florida has a significant Jewish population and is home to one of the largest Israeli-American communities in the country.[5] With more than 650,000 Jews residing in the state, DeSantis has faced pressure to take action in support of Israel during the conflict.

Critics of the governor’s decision argue that it is unnecessary and politically motivated. Some have raised concerns about the use of funds from the Emergency Preparedness and Response Fund, questioning whether it is appropriate to allocate resources to a foreign conflict when there may be pressing domestic needs.

DeSantis has defended his decision, stating that it is important to support Israel, a close ally of the United States, during this time of crisis.[2] He has emphasized that the state of emergency allows for the safe evacuation of Floridians in Israel and the transportation of necessary supplies to support relief efforts.

The governor’s declaration has also sparked a heated exchange with a voter during a campaign event in New Hampshire. The voter questioned DeSantis’s support for Israel and criticized Israeli airstrikes in Gaza. DeSantis pushed back, highlighting Hamas’s use of human shields and arguing that Israel provides warnings to civilians before military operations.[6]

The conflict between Israel and Hamas has drawn international attention and sparked widespread protests and fundraising campaigns in the United States. The declaration of a state of emergency in Florida reflects the state’s commitment to supporting Israel and ensuring the safety of its residents abroad.

As the conflict continues, it remains to be seen how the state of emergency declaration will be implemented and what impact it will have on the situation on the ground. The evacuation and relief efforts facilitated by the Florida Division of Emergency Management will be crucial in providing support to Floridians in Israel and contributing to the overall humanitarian response to the conflict.

0. “Gov. Ron DeSantis issues order to help evacuate Floridians from Israel as conflict rages” WPTV News Channel 5 West Palm, 12 Oct. 2023, https://www.wptv.com/news/state/gov-ron-desantis-issues-order-to-help-evacuate-floridians-from-israel-as-conflict-rages

1. “DeSantis declares state of emergency in Florida because of Israel-Hamas war” Florida Phoenix, 12 Oct. 2023, https://floridaphoenix.com/2023/10/12/desantis-declares-state-of-emergency-in-florida-because-of-israel-hamas-war/

2. “Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis declares emergency after Israel attack by Hamas” CBS News, 13 Oct. 2023, https://www.cbsnews.com/miami/news/gov-desantis-declares-emergency-after-israel-attack/

3. “DeSantis pulls disaster funds in emergency declaration” News 13 Orlando, 13 Oct. 2023, https://www.mynews13.com/fl/orlando/news/2023/10/13/desantis-pulls-florida-disaster-funds-in-israel-emergency-declaration

4. “Florida moves to fly stranded Americans out of Israel” The Center Square, 13 Oct. 2023, https://www.thecentersquare.com/florida/article_eea355b8-6a23-11ee-a58d-f381f9e56b09.html

5. “‘I’m angry’: DeSantis says justice needs to be ‘severe’ regarding war in Israel” WESH 2 Orlando, 10 Oct. 2023, https://www.wesh.com/article/desantis-war-israel/45497499

6. “DeSantis, voter have heated exchange over Gaza bombings: ‘You had my vote, but you don’t now'” The Hill, 13 Oct. 2023, https://thehill.com/homenews/campaign/4254261-desantis-israel-gaza-bombings-voter-heated-exchange/

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