Mayor: Local residents stranded in Holy Land are now on the way home

A group of Nelson County residents on Holy Land tour were temporarily stranded in Israel following Saturday’s Hamas attack that left more than 1,300 dead.


Monday, Oct. 9, 2023 — The outbreak of hostilities in Israel following Saturday’s attacks my Hamas militants left a group of Nelson County residents temporarily stranded in Israel with no way to leave.


Following Saturday’s deadly attacks in Israel by Hamas, Israel closed its airports to incoming and outgoing flights.

The move stranded Nelson County residents on a Holy Land tour with no way to leave the country and return home.

Bardstown Mayor Dick Heaton released a statement Sunday after discussing the matter with state Sen. Jimmy Higdon.

The residents stranded in Israel have not been identified, nor do we know what church the group is affiliated with.

Heaton’s office issued an update Monday morning, advising that the local residents are now safely out of Israel and should be home and should be home by Wednesday.

“This group of Nelson County residents found themselves in a challenging situation due to the recent escalation of violence in the region, including attacks by Hamas. Upon learning of their predicament, Sen. Jimmy Higdon, state Rep. Candyt Massaroni, Judge-Executive Tim Hutchins, and I immediately contacted our congressional delegation to seek assistance in ensuring the safe and
timely return of our constituents,” Heaton’s statement said.

He credited the efforts by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Sen. Rand Paul, U.S. Rep. Brett Guthrie and U.S. Rep. Massie for their help in working with the Pentagon, the U.S. Embassy and other agencies to assist the residents’ safe return,

“Their commitment to this cause has been exemplary, and we extend our heartfelt gratitude for their unwavering support,” Heaton wrote. “During this challenging time, our community rallied together, keeping our stranded residents in our thoughts and prayers, along with the people of Israel and all those affected by these senseless attacks.”

WAR DECLARED. Following the Hamas attackes, the Israeli government declared war for the first time in 50 years Sunday and are taking “significant military steps” to retaliate for the Hamas-led attacks.

According to a CBS report, as of Monday morning, the death toll from Saturday’s attack passed 1,300 dead, with that total expected to climb.


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