Major airlines began canceling their services out of Israel just hours before President Joe Biden told Americans remaining in the country to book a commercial flight if they want to leave after the terrorist organization Hamas invaded.
Biden advised Americans left within Israel Monday to book a commercial flight or utilize ground options if they wish to leave the country. As of Monday evening, American, Delta, United Airlines and Air France have all halted services in and out of Israel after the country declared war on Hamas, according to the Associated Press.
“For American citizens who are currently in Israel, the State Department is providing consular assistance as well as updated security alerts. For those who desire to leave, commercial flights and ground options are still available,” Biden wrote. “Please also take sensible precautions in the days ahead and follow the guidance of local authorities.”
Biden announced late Monday afternoon that at least 11 Americans have been killed in Hamas’ attack and more are believed to have been taken hostage.
American Airlines had stopped its services in and out of Israel through Friday but alerted customers whose flights were canceled of “additional flexibility,” the AP reported. Delta Airlines has halted its flights through the rest of the month but will be monitoring the war and will make adjustments to its guidance as needed.
Several other airlines such as Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines, Swiss and Brussels Airlines have paused its services until Saturday while the war in Israel develops, The AP reported.
Since the president’s last statement on Saturday afternoon, Biden announced Monday that he has “deployed experts” to help “consult with and advise Israeli counterparts on hostage recovery efforts.”
A White House National Security Council spokesperson referred to its guidance that helps Americans check the availability of flights out of Israel when asked by the Daily Caller if it was aware of the dwindling commercial flights at the time Biden’s statement.
And Biden literally just told stranded Americans to book their own travel out https://t.co/1xtTHOiCvt
— Geoffrey Ingersoll (@GPIngersoll) October 9, 2023
The president’s response to the attack on Israel and the Americans stuck in the country has repeatedly come under scrutiny in recent days; Biden was criticized by congressmen and conservative media personalities on Sunday for hosting a White House staff barbeque while war was breaking out in the Middle East. The president was also blasted on Monday morning after the White House called a lid, which indicates that there will not be any more public events during the day. (RELATED: The US Is Moving Hundreds Of Thousands Of Ammo Rounds Out Of Israel To Support Ukraine)
The president will be “working on supporting Israel all day,” a White House spokesperson told the Daily Caller Monday morning when asked about the early lid on public events.
“In this moment of heartbreak, the American people stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Israelis,” Biden said. “We remember the pain of being attacked by terrorists at home, and Americans across the country stand united against these evil acts that have once more claimed innocent American lives. It is an outrage. And we will continue to show the world that the American people are unwavering in our resolve to oppose terrorism in all forms.”