Passengers on flight from Israel land in Newark and reflect on what they left behind

ByTom Negovan WABC logo
Monday, October 16, 2023
Passengers from Tel Aviv land in Newark and reflect on what they left
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It was an emotional homecoming at Newark as passengers from Israel landed and reflected on the heartbreak and war with Hamas they left behind. Tom Negovan has more.

NEWARK, New Jersey (WABC) -- Hundreds of people fleeing Israel landed at Newark Airport on Monday, and while it was an emotional homecoming for some, for others it was a heartbreaking escape.

The state department and major air carriers are working to get U.S. citizens stranded in Israel home again - but it's not easy.

While there are flights out of Israel, they are tough to get. And once they land, some are already wondering when they can return and what they will return to.

At Newark Airport on Monday, it was an emotional homecoming like no other.

"I think I got on that flight and I was still traumatized by the events that happened," said Leah Schreiber, who lives in Jerusalem. "I'm not easily shocked, but that was beyond our worst experience. It was like a nightmare that you couldn't wake up from because it was just continuing."

Many struggled to get a flight to the United States only to land and find their thoughts still 5,000 miles away.

ALSO READ | How aid groups are responding to the Israel-Hamas war, and where to donate

Passengers on El-Al flights Monday arrived in the Tri-State as they heard from friends and relatives left behind of regular missile attacks - repelled by Israel's Iron Dome.

The Jacobson family, from Teaneck, was on vacation in Israel when the war broke out.

"And we've seen like the true face of what Hamas is- and what they stand for- which is just, they're animals.. I mean, the atrocities they have committed have been like the worst since the Holocaust," said Dov Jacobson.

The Jacobson family had to travel separately. The father was on a diplomatic flight through Athens while Betti and three of her sons were on a commercial flight that took days of planning.

"We were supposed to be home at least a week ago, so my kids have missed school and everything- but we're happy to be alive and happy and well- and hoping that things don't get worse in Israel," Betti said.

ALSO READ | Upper East Side resident returns to Israel for IDF active duty as war continues

A man from the Upper East Side joined the Israeli Defense Forces to report for duty. Reporter Darla Miles has the story.


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