ICYMI: Governor Ron DeSantis Announces First Mission from Israel Returns Nearly 300 Americans Home
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Today, Governor Ron DeSantis announced that the first mission has arrived from Israel with evacuees who were unable to return home due to commercial flight cancellations. Florida partnered with Project Dynamo to bring nearly 300 evacuees home from Israel, including more than 270 to Tampa and seven to Orlando this afternoon. Once the plane landed in Tampa, evacuees were able to access resources from multiple state agencies. Additionally, the Governor is sending medical supplies, hygiene products, clothing and children’s toys to Israel to help impacted Israelis.
“Just a few days ago, I signed an Executive Order to allow Florida to carry out logistical, rescue and evacuation operations to bring Floridians back home and provide important supplies to our valued ally, Israel,” said Governor Ron DeSantis. “I am proud of how quickly we have been able to activate resources and do what the federal government could not — get Floridians and other Americans back home, reunited with their families, free of charge.”
“Following last week’s unprovoked and heinous attacks by Hamas, Governor Ron DeSantis took immediate action to help Floridians in Israel,” said Lieutenant Governor Jeanette Nuñez. “Our administration will continue to work to safely bring Floridians home and support the people of Israel as they fight back to defend themselves.”
“Israel mourns its more than 1400 murdered and 150 hostages in the devastating unprovoked terror attack perpetrated by Hamas," said Consul General of Israel to Florida, Maor Elbaz-Starinsky. "We have gone to war to eradicate Hamas and its allies and to uphold our values of freedom, humanity and the sanctity of life. The support we are receiving from Governor DeSantis, the First Lady, FDEM Executive Director Kevin Guthrie, Florida Commerce Secretary Alex Kelly, FDLE Commissioner Mark Glass and his entire administration and the state is overwhelming. We are very grateful for the special flights and supplies.”
“We have a dedicated team of volunteers who work tirelessly to ensure the well-being of Americans caught in crisis situations all over the world,” said Bryan Stern, Project Dynamo CEO and Founder. “It’s truly heart-wrenching to watch the destruction unfolding in Israel. We're so grateful to Governor DeSantis for partnering with us on this mission, to save every American in need."
On October 12, 2023, Governor DeSantis signed Executive Order 23-208 to allow the State of Florida to carry out logistical, rescue and evacuation operations to keep its residents safe. Specifically, this order enables the Florida Division of Emergency Management to bring Floridians home and transport necessary supplies to Israel.
The Florida Division of Emergency Management will lead efforts for additional flights which will take more supplies to Israel and continue to bring Floridians back home.
The Governor has also surged law enforcement resources upon request to prevent violence at demonstrations and protect Jewish schools and synagogues. The Governor directed FDLE and FHP to work with the Attorney General’s Office and issue memos to law enforcement and Florida universities reminding them of their responsibility to protect the Jewish community from threats and unlawful harassment. Florida will not tolerate hate or violence towards the Jewish community.
If you or someone you know is a Florida citizen who is unable to leave Israel due to the current situation, visit FloridaDisaster.Org/Israel to fill out the form.