A New Jersey lawmaker is hoping to speed aid to state residents trapped in Israel so they can get home safely.

Assm. Ned Thompson, R-Wall, says logistical and financial barriers are preventing an unspecified number of New Jersey residents from returning safely to the Garden State.

The Emergency Return Reimbursement Fund would cover “reasonable and necessary expenses” for the trip home.

While the United States has made every effort to provide charter flights to get Americans out of Israel as the war with Hamas intensifies, these flights are only evacuating people to destinations in Europe considered safe.

Israel Diaspora

Thompson says not only are individuals billed for the cost of the charter flight, but the U.S. makes no provision for lodging or a flight back home. His bill would help cover those costs.

The urgency to get out of Israel is reaching a critical point as the Israeli government gets closer to a ground invasion of Gaza. The Israeli Defense Force has been relentlessly bombing the Palestinian enclave since the terror group Hamas launched an attack inside Israel on Oct. 7.

"Our primary concern is the safety and well-being of our citizens," Thompson said in a statement, "This fund is a tangible way for us to demonstrate our unwavering commitment to their safety."

Thompson could not say how much his bill would cost but hoped the full Assembly would vote on the measure quickly.

It would require the support of Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin, and his office has not commented on the bill.

In order to be enacted, the bill would also have to pass the full senate and be signed by Gov. Phil Murphy.

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