An evacuation operation led by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis successfully airlifted 300 American citizens who were trapped in Israel and is expected to arrive in Florida on Sunday night. The initiative comes in response to the deadly terror attacks launched by Hamas, which claimed the lives of over two dozen Americans. DeSantis, who is considered a potential Republican presidential candidate, will be present at Tampa International Airport to welcome the evacuees, alongside Florida First Lady Casey DeSantis.
On Thursday, DeSantis signed an executive order granting the state authority to execute rescue and evacuation operations in Israel, critiquing President Joe Biden’s response to the foreign policy crisis. He stated that the Biden administration failed to launch any rescue or evacuation efforts for Americans, including Floridians, stranded in the region. Furthermore, they did not provide requested information about such operations. DeSantis noted that the administration merely facilitated flights for individuals, transporting them to Europe, where they were required to sign waivers promising to reimburse the U.S. government for the flights.
In contrast, the Florida Division of Emergency Management announced its intention to help those left stranded in Athens due to the Biden administration’s response. They encouraged individuals in need of transportation back to the United States to complete a form on their website. DeSantis’s press secretary, Jeremy Redfern, urged people who found themselves in Athens due to the Biden administration’s actions to fill out the form.
Governor DeSantis’s proactive response and swift action to evacuate American citizens have been applauded by many, and this operation further cements his profile as a potential presidential candidate in the Republican party.