TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — A plane with 270 American passengers, including 91 kids, flew in from Israel to the United States and was greeted by Governor DeSantis and his family.
The plane flew through Portugal to get to Tampa International Airport, landing around 7:45 p.m. Seven evacuees were taken to Orlando this afternoon.
Founder Bryan Stern thanked Florida Governor Ron DeSantis for making this mission possible.
The Governor signed an executive order on Thursday that enables the Florida Division of Emergency Management to bring Floridians home and transport supplies out to Israel. They. estimate some 20,000 U.S. citizens, including Floridians, are stranded in Israel.
The executive order directs the Flordia Division of Emergency Management to charter flights for Americans trying to get home. It also states, “There are more than 20,000 Americans, including Floridians in Israel who wish to return home but are unable to do so. The executive order allows the State of Floria to carry out logistical, rescue, and evacuation operations to keep its residents safe.”
After the vicious Hamas massacres last Saturday, Project Dynamo launched “Operation: Promised Land.”
Stern says his team is working on rescuing hostages being held by Hams.
Project Dynamo is also trying to evacuate Americans trapped in Gaza and those who have been unable to book their own flights. Most airlines have stopped service in and out of Israel since the war began.
“We’re in Israel, it’s the 5th of October. Lebanon has engaged in the war, so has Hezbollah. We’re getting a couple hundred Americans out in one shot,” Stern said. “Big shoutout to Governor Desantis. Thank you for your support. Your executive order was a game-changer for us and allowed us to save all these lives. We’ve been here for over a week since the day after the massacre and we’re excited to get home to get these people out.”
This is Project Dynamo’s 602nd mission.
DeSantis spoke following the plane’s arrival.
“Israel mourns its more than 1400 murdered and 150 hostages in the devastating unprovoked terror attack perpetrated by Hamas,” Consul General of Israel to Florida, Maor Elbaz-Starinsky said. “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.”
The Tampa-based non-profit was formed more than two years ago to evacuate Americans left behind in Afghanistan.
If you or someone you know is a Florida citizen and cannot leave Israel due to the current situation, visit FloridaDisaster.Org/Israel to fill out the form