On October 13, 2023, Governor Ron DeSantis of Florida signed an executive order that authorized the state’s Department of Emergency Management to carry out rescue and evacuation operations for Florida residents in Israel. This came as the Israel-Hamas conflict intensified and left many Americans stranded in the war-torn country. The executive order also allowed for the transport of necessary supplies to Israel.
In response to the executive order, a charter flight was organized to bring American citizens from Israel to Tampa, Florida. The flight reportedly carried nearly 300 passengers, who were greeted by Governor DeSantis and his wife, Casey, upon their arrival. The evacuees expressed relief at being able to return to the safety of their homes in Florida after experiencing the violence and uncertainty in Israel.
The state of Florida also took action to provide aid to those still in Israel. Medical supplies, hygiene products, clothing, and children’s toys were sent to help those impacted by the conflict. The Division of Emergency Management led efforts to arrange additional flights to bring more Floridians home and transport more supplies to Israel.
The decision to evacuate and assist American citizens in Israel was prompted by the dire situation on the ground. More than 20,000 Americans, including Floridians, were unable to return home due to the ongoing violence. Governor DeSantis emphasized the importance of the executive order in ensuring the safety and well-being of Florida residents and supporting their allies in Israel.
The initiative to evacuate Americans from Israel was not limited to the state of Florida. The Biden administration also began arranging charter flights for U.S. citizens in Israel who wished to leave the country. The conflict between Israel and Hamas had resulted in a significant number of Americans seeking assistance to return home.
The charter flights were organized to ensure the safe return of American citizens and provide them with the necessary resources and support. The state of emergency declared by Governor DeSantis allowed for the activation of the Florida National Guard and Florida State Guard as needed. It also directed the Division of Emergency Management to carry out emergency-management plans and logistical operations.
Governor DeSantis’s support for Israel extended beyond the evacuation efforts.  This demonstrated his commitment to standing with Israel and taking concrete actions to support the country in its time of need.
As the conflict between Israel and Hamas continued, more American evacuees were expected to return home in the coming days. The state of Florida, along with organizations like Project Dynamo, worked tirelessly to facilitate the safe evacuation and return of American citizens. The U.S. Department of State reported that over 20,000 Americans in Israel had reached out for assistance in evacuating.
Governor DeSantis’s decision to refuse Palestinian refugees from Gaza into the U.S. sparked controversy. He asserted that all Palestinians were antisemitic and did not believe in Israel’s right to exist. This statement drew criticism from some who argued that it unfairly generalized an entire population.
In conclusion, the executive order signed by Governor Ron DeSantis allowed for the rescue and evacuation of Florida residents in Israel during the Israel-Hamas conflict. The state of Florida, along with the federal government, worked to organize charter flights to bring American citizens back home. The efforts also included sending aid and supplies to support those impacted by the conflict. Governor DeSantis’s decision to refuse Palestinian refugees from Gaza attracted both support and criticism. The situation highlighted the complex and sensitive nature of the Israel-Palestine conflict and the challenges involved in providing assistance and support to those affected.
0. “Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis declares emergency after Israel attack by Hamas” CBS Miami, 13 Oct. 2023, https://www.cbsnews.com/miami/news/gov-desantis-declares-emergency-after-israel-attack/
1. “Plane carrying Americans from Israel lands in Tampa” Bay News 9, 16 Oct. 2023, https://www.baynews9.com/fl/tampa/news/2023/10/16/plane-carrying-americans-from-israel-lands-in-tampa
2. “DeSantis Announces Plan to Evacuate Floridians Stranded in Israel” Daily Signal, 12 Oct. 2023, https://www.dailysignal.com/2023/10/12/desantis-announces-plan-to-evacuate-floridians-stranded-in-israel/
3. “First DeSantis-ordered rescue flight rescues 300 Americans from Israel” Florida’s Voice, 16 Oct. 2023, https://flvoicenews.com/first-desantis-ordered-rescue-flight-rescues-300-americans/
4. “Another global crisis proves DeSantis is the best alternative to the 2020 retreads” Washington Examiner, 11 Oct. 2023, https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/another-global-crisis-proves-desantis-best-alternative-to-2020-retreads
5. “Governor DeSantis proposes increased sanctions against Iran” WPBF West Palm Beach, 10 Oct. 2023, https://www.wpbf.com/article/florida-governor-desantis-proposes-increased-sanctions-against-iran/45497040
6. “American evacuees return home from Israel” KYMA, 16 Oct. 2023, https://kyma.com/news/national-world/2023/10/16/american-evacuees-return-home-from-israel/
7. “Hundreds of Americans rescued from Project DYNAMO’s Israel mission land at TPA” WTSP.com, 16 Oct. 2023, https://www.wtsp.com/article/news/nation-world/israel-hamas-conflict/israel-project-dynamo-rescue/67-c3310612-abc9-4218-9bb5-b75bac56f914
8. “First DeSantis-chartered flights from Israel land in Florida” Yahoo News, 16 Oct. 2023, https://news.yahoo.com/first-desantis-chartered-flights-israel-022125296.html