FIRST ON FOX: A Republican congressman sent an urgent letter to the White House on Monday night calling on the administration to secure the evacuation of American citizens stranded in Israel amid a Hamas terror attack that killed over 1,000 Israelis.
"I urge you to use all appropriate U.S. resources and tools to arrange for the immediate evacuation of American citizens in Israel who are desperately trying to return home," Rep. Chris Smith, who represents New Jersey's 4th Congressional District, wrote in a letter to President Biden.
"The dangers these U.S. citizens face are so grave, and the responsibility of the U.S. Government for their safety so paramount, that their evacuation must be the uppermost immediate priority of the U.S. Government in Israel and the Middle East. You must act rapidly and decisively providing the full support that American citizens need for their immediate safe evacuation to the United States."
Smith told the Biden White House that over the past 36 hours, he has received "many reports from constituents" who are U.S. citizens that are stranded in Israel or are family members of citizens trying to return to the U.S. but are "unable to do so."
"As you must be aware, most airlines have cancelled flights out of Israel, with little information about when they may resume," Smith wrote. "Remaining flights do not suffice to evacuate the large number of U.S. nationals in Israel, and the administration should consider engaging or facilitating chartered flights to get our citizens home."
Smith, co-chair of the Israel Allies Caucus, told Biden that the U.S. has an "obligation" to give Israel the support it needs in light of the "unprecedentedly savage nature of Hamas’s sneak attack."
"At the same time, you must move heaven and earth to get U.S. citizens out from harm’s way," Smith said. "Every American who is looking to return home must have the opportunity to do so. I look forward to your prompt response."
The White House did not immediately respond to a request or comment from Fox News Digital.
At least 11 Americans are dead as a result of the Hamas attack over the weekend in Israel, and many more are believed to have been captured and are being held hostage.
President Biden faced widespread criticism during the chaotic withdrawal of Afghanistan for not securing the exit of Americans and their allies in the region, and at one point, it was believed that nearly 450 Americans were still stuck in the country two months after the U.S. withdrawal.
Fox News Digital reported earlier this week that a delegation of law enforcement officials were in Israel for a training when the attack was launched and were stranded in the country trying to secure a trip home.
"The reports are absolutely scary and frightening and devastating," New York Gov. Kathy Hochul said "People are stranded. People have been in shelters. People have been within a block or two of an explosion, and there's just real fear and terror reigning through the community."
Andrew Mark Miller is a reporter at Fox News. Find him on Twitter @andymarkmiller and email tips to [email protected].
Read the original article on Fox News here.