Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed an executive order on Thursday authorizing planes from his state to rescue stranded Americans in Israel in the middle of the battle with Hamas.

“Today I signed an executive order authorizing rescue operations in Israel to bring Floridians home and transport supplies to our allies,” the Florida governor and 2024 presidential candidate posted on X, formerly known as Twitter, on Thursday. 

“We will not leave our residents behind. To the many Floridians who are stuck in Israel, trying to get home — help is on the way.”

In the executive order, DeSantis explained that Floridians stranded in Israel have requested from his office and Florida’s congressional delegation “because they are not receiving timely assistance from the U.S. Embassy in Israel and are not receiving any follow-up after enrolling in the U.S. Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program.”


The order states, “unlike the governments of other countries, the Biden Administration has failed to launch any form of rescue or evacuation operations for Americans, including Floridians, stranded in the region, and has failed to provide information requested by the State of Florida about any plans for such operations.”

In a social media post, DeSantis press secretary Jeremy Redfern said, “Once again, Governor DeSantis steps in to fill the leadership void in DC.”

A State Department spokesperson pointed to an announcement Wednesday that, starting Friday, “the U.S. government will arrange charter flights to assist U.S. citizens and their immediate family members who have been unable to book commercial transit and seek a safe means of departing Israel.”

The spokesperson added that the department has been “communicating 24/7 with U.S. citizens and providing them assistance and information through the phone, online and the Smart Traveler Program.”

“When we have had new information to convey — like the chartered flights — we’ve passed that on to the American Citizens who have reached out to the Embassy and requested either information about options to depart or the situation in the ground broadly. Our goal is to assist U.S. citizens and their families who want to leave Israel with a safe means of doing so.”


Hundreds of U.S. families are stranded in Israel without a safe way home after most major airlines canceled routes out of the country and U.S.-bound flights remain unavailable following Hamas’ vicious terrorist attack in the region.

Several thousand Americans traveled to Israel in late September to celebrate the holiday of Sukkot, which spans over several days and has become a popular time for Jewish families to visit the Holy Land. For many in Jerusalem, the holiday celebrations were interrupted by air raid sirens signaling incoming missiles in the region, forcing them to take refuge in designated bomb shelters in their hotels or apartments. 

Rep. Cory Mills, R-Fla., successfully evacuated 32 Americans Wednesday who were stranded in Israel unable to find flights home, and he is planning to conduct a second mission in the coming days. 

“I went in and was very thankful to be able to get — for the second time, by the way I’ll just add — helping the Biden administration, who has failed to do their job,” he said.


Roughly 150 individuals in Israel were reportedly captured and are being held hostage by Hamas terrorists, and it is believed that some of those hostages are American citizens.

“We believe that there are 20 or more American who at this point are missing,” National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said on Tuesday. “But I want to underscore and stress, that does not mean necessarily that there are 20 or more American hostages. Just that is the number who are currently unaccounted for.”

As of Tuesday, 27 Americans have been confirmed as killed in the Hamas attack.

Fox News Digital’s Yael Hanlon contributed to this report