International Israelis Fly to Israel to Fight

( – With Israel at war with Hamas, Israeli citizens living abroad, both reservists and volunteers, are trying to make their way home to Israel to join the fight, the Associated Press reported.

On Tuesday, Israel increased its mobilization of reservists to 360,000 as it ramps up its military response to last weekend’s brutal terrorist attacks.

Yaakov Swisa, a former Israeli soldier living in Los Angeles, told the Associated Press that while he was not called back to serve, after learning that his army roommate was among the 260 Israelis butchered at the musical festival, he felt that he had no choice but to return to Israel and fight.

The 42-year-old construction worker and father of five said he wants to rejoin his reserve unit, adding, “I am ready to fight.”

Some Israeli reservists who were either working and living aboard or were otherwise out of the country at the time of the attacks are among those who were called up. Others said they have yet to be called or have been unable to reach their commanders but expect to be called up soon.

Former Congressman Eric Fingerhut, now the head of The Jewish Federations of North America, told the Associated Press that he isn’t surprised that people are wanting to help.

Speaking to the Associated Press from Tel Aviv, Fingerhut said there are many reservists abroad, and getting them back to Israel “has been a priority.”

With most major commercial airlines suspending flights to and from Israel, some IDF reservists in the US have been trying to secure charter flights instead.

New York businessman Ofer Cohen told the Associated Press that when he learned about 200 reservists vacationing in South America who were unable to return, he started raising hundreds of thousands of dollars to charter a plane to get them home.

However, even Israeli Americans who are not reservists are looking to volunteer.

New Jersey college student Adam Jacobs, 18, who was born and raised in the United States told the Associated Press that when he learned that his cousin was killed in the Hamas attacks, he decided to get to Israel to help out in any way he could, even doing volunteer work or shuttling supplies.

He told the Associated Press that he would not be able to live with himself if he stayed in the United States.

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