TAMPA (WFLA) — Seven days after the start of the war, there are many Americans still struggling to find flights from Israel back to the United States.
A South Tampa woman is sharing what it was like in Israel as the Hamas terrorist attacks unfolded and how she was able to evacuate the conflict zone.
Meg Moskovitz has visited Israel many times since she was 12 years old. She told News Channel 8 she loves taking friends there for the first time.
“People always say, if you want to go Israel, you want to go with me and with my husband,” Moskovitz said.
Moskovitz arrived in Israel for a tour with a group of 14 people, mainly from Tampa Bay, who had never been there before.
Two days later, Hamas carried out their deadly coordinated terror attacks, killing more than 1,300 people.
“This was way out their comfort zone, obviously way out of their wheelhouse,” Moskovitz said, “and they’ll be telling this story to people for a long time.”
She said she knew something wasn’t right last Saturday morning when she noticed the normally busy beach in Tel Avi was empty.
With Hamas firing rockets from Gaza, a municipal worker told her group, “Listen if you hear something go off, you have to lie down and put your hands like over your head.”
At dinner, Moskovitz said the restaurant ushered her group into a shelter room twice.
“We could see out the window the Iron Dome working, like blowing stuff up,” she said.
On Monday morning, Moskovitz and members of the group who didn’t fly out Sunday went to Ben Gurion Airport.
“The airport was like a zoo,” she said. “We didn’t even get out of the van. There was no point.”
So in order to find a flight back to the States, Moskovitz said they had to cross the border from Jerusalem to Jordan.
“And our tour company had arranged a handler for us on the other side in Jordan,” she explained, “which if we hadn’t had that, it never would have worked.”
Moskovitz flew to New York’s JFK airport on a Jordanian airline.
Even though their trip was cut short by the darkest day in Israel’s 75-year history, she said members of her group want to return to finish their tour.
“They got the feeling of what it is like there to be under attack,” she said.