Americans Stranded in Israel Return Home with Governor DeSantis' Support


Tampa, FLORIDA - Hundreds of American citizens who were stranded in Tel Aviv amidst the Israel-Hamas conflict have safely returned home. They were warmly welcomed by Governor Ron DeSantis and his wife, Casey, at Tampa International Airport.

A total of 270 American passengers, including 91 children and four dogs, made the journey after facing several days of uncertainty in Israel. They traveled through Portugal before arriving in Tampa. Nearly one-third of the passengers were residents of Florida.

Governor DeSantis, along with state emergency management officials, collaborated with the non-profit organization Project Dynamo. This group, led by veterans, volunteers their time to conduct rescue missions in war zones and disaster-stricken areas.

Bryan Stern, CEO & Co-Founder of Project Dynamo, explained that they initiated 'Operation Promised Land' immediately after the Hamas attacks. This operation involved significant logistical efforts, far beyond a simple flight back. Stern emphasized the risks involved, stating, "It's incredibly dangerous. It's incredibly scary. All these people are taking missile fire. It's dicey. And they're not soldiers."

Ron and Linda Neumann, who spent 18 months in Israel pursuing dual citizenship before the attacks, expressed their relief at returning home. Ron Neumann shared his gratitude for the assistance, especially after two previous flight cancellations.

Project Dynamo's latest mission, dubbed mission number 602, marked their fourth visit to a war zone within the past year. Stern highlighted that their funding is entirely reliant on donations and noted this mission saw the first involvement of an American, particularly a state politician, in one of their international rescue missions.

Governor DeSantis enabled the Florida division of emergency management to facilitate the return of Floridians and transport supplies to Israel through an executive order signed last Thursday.

The plane not only carried Floridians but also individuals from across the United States, including a man residing in the Czech Republic.

Upon arrival in Tampa, evacuees were provided access to resources from multiple state agencies. Furthermore, medical supplies, hygiene products, clothing, and children's toys are being dispatched to Israel for aid.

The Florida Department of Emergency Management anticipates three additional flights arriving in Tampa over the next week.