Helping Travelers Every Day: Israel-Gaza Crisis Response Highlights

Early on Saturday 7 October, conflict broke out between Gaza Strip-based militants and Israel. The conflict was claimed by the Palestinian Militant group Hamas which carried out a multi-pronged assault on Israeli territory bordering the Gaza Strip. Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu has declared war on Hamas and all other Palestinian armed groups.

Operational Highlights
Over the course of a 14-day period from October 7th to October 20th, On Call’s Global Response Center managed over 70 cases for travelers directly affected by the Israel-Gaza Crisis including families with young children, students, expats, faith-based groups, and leisure travelers; in total, we assisted over 170 travelers during this very short timeframe.

In addition to assisting travelers with booking/rebooking commercial flights, facilitating secure cross-border transfers, and coordinating multiple charter evacuations, some of these cases also involved complex medical components such as patients in need of oxygen tanks while traveling as well as coordinating in-country care for those hospitalized prior to the attacks.

Following this initial flurry of operational activity, our Global Response Center teams saw a significant drop in new assistance requests as we safely and effectively transported travelers out of the affected areas. The situation remains fluid and our Security, Medical, and Operations Teams stand ready to assist our clients and their constituents 24/7/365, as needed.

Emergency Assistance Overview
It was a true group effort as our centralized teams of Security, Medical, and Operations experts worked together, in parallel, behind the scenes to provide support to our travelers in need:

    • On Call’s Security Team, in addition to 24/7 situation monitoring and timely dissemination of intelligence, briefings, and advice, also arranged several secure movement cross-border transfers and private charters/air transportation for travelers.

    • On Call’s Travel Desk and Operations Teams tirelessly researched, booked, and rebooked flights for numerous travelers on available commercial airlines.

    • On Call’s Operations Teams arranged secure accommodations for travelers at safe havens once evacuations were complete and also arranged plans for onward travel from safe haven locations

    • On Call’s Medical and Transportation Teams sourced available air ambulance and ground transportation providers to respond to urgent/emergent medical transportation requests as needed.

The Israel-Gaza crisis presented some interesting challenges and unique barriers amid our efforts to help our travelers in need, but nothing that our Global Assistance teams couldn’t handle including:

    • Fluid security situation on the ground in Israel and at Ben Gurion International Airport

    • Travel advisory changes and fluidity

    • Border closures/limited hours of operation

    • Commercial flight cancellations and limited availability

    • Tighter communication windows with some travelers amid evacuation procedures due to the observance of certain cultural/religious customs

    • Securing visas for multiple nationalities/passport holders for cross-border transfers and private charter flights

    • Coordinating in-country care for those hospitalized prior to the attacks

    • Scoping and securing alternate transportation options for those who could not take private charter flights due to various medical conditions/complexities

    • Differing risk tolerances of travelers, creating nuanced evacuation needs and response protocols

Here’s what some of our clients and travelers said in response to the assistance they received from On Call during the Israel-Gaza Crisis:*

“Thank you to this amazing team of individuals who is working so hard to get our staff to safety.  I’m very grateful to know you.”

“I want to thank you and your team so much for all the support to get us home. I’m so amazed at how kind and generous everyone has been to our family….your assistance made our way so easy!”

“Thank you for all you (and team) have done to arrange our travel.  We are humbled by the support, safety, and details.  You are amazing and we are so grateful.  Please extend our thanks to all who were involved in securing these plans.  I don’t think I can thank you all enough.”

“Thank you. Truly, thank you.  This has been such a complicated effort and I know how hard you’ve worked for us.  It does NOT go unnoticed.” 

 “I want to express my heartfelt gratitude for your exceptional assistance…your support has been invaluable…thank you for your prompt and efficient coordination, making this challenging situation a bit more manageable. Your dedication is truly commendable.”

 “Thanks be to God! All is well. You all have done an extraordinary job. Your patient, kind and indefatigable efforts are what helped us most!”

“Just like every single time we have engaged with [your] staff, we got superior service.  Their immediate and calm engagement, knowledge galore and complete and total follow-through saved us from many meltdowns. When I got off the plane, my phone lit up with reservations for the next round of flights the following day and a likely hotel that would be a good place for us to stay.  It was nothing short of excellent. WELL DONE and thank you!!”

To read more about On Call’s Israel-Gaza crisis response efforts, check out our Israel-Gaza Crisis Response Case Studies.


About On Call International:
When traveling, every problem is unique–a medical crisis, a political threat, even a common mishap such as a missed flight. But every solution starts with customized care that ensures travelers are safe and protected. That’s why for over 25 years, On Call International has provided fully-customized travel risk management and global emergency assistance services protecting millions of travelers, their families, and their organizations. Contact us today to learn more.

*Note: no identifying details are shared in order to help protect the privacy of our clients and their constituents.