The United States has withdrawn military and civilian personnel from Israel due to the recent uptick in violence between Palestinian factions and Tel Aviv, a Pentagon official confirmed Thursday.
It is believed that the US had sent more than 100 personnel in Israel ahead of a joint military exercise with Israel.
The Pentagon official said the forced evacuation was due to the uptick in fighting that has rocked the region since last week between Palestinian militants and Israeli forces. Fears grew over the lack of commercial flights out of Israel as several American and European airlines halted their flights into Israel.
#Israel: We are aware US citizens in Gaza are impacted by the security situation. We do not have immediate plans for a US government-organized departure. US citizens/LPRs seeking to depart- submit info here: https://t.co/6Vuq9B16wq so we can contact you. https://t.co/Y4p54HFyKQ pic.twitter.com/myAIHd4SD6— Travel - State Dept (@TravelGov) May 12, 2021
The official said those evacuated from Israel returned to their bases in Germany.
Later Thursday, Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby told reporters that around 120 Defense Department personnel were flown out of Israel on a C-17 military plane. They were scheduled to wrap up their joint exercise and leave the country later in the week, he said.