Newly appointed US Ambassador to Israel Thomas Nides released a video on Instagram Thursday addressing all American citizens in Israel in which he addressed the difficulties citizens have faced in obtaining appointments for passports or other consular services.

"I know how important it is to have the support of the US embassy while abroad, whether outside the United States alone or with our families. The protection of American citizens is the highest priority of the Department of State. We have excellent teams and consular sections in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, and they're here to assist US citizens wherever they reside, in Israel, the West Bank, or Gaza," the Ambassador began.

"I've been told of the frustration many of you encounter finding available appointments for US passports, consular reports of births abroad, and other services," he said. "Obviously, the COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented global backlog for requests for these services."

"Embassy Jerusalem has led the way in service improvements, trying to reduce the wait time through video interviews for young children, maximum staffing, mail and services wherever possible, updated appointment processes, and outreach trips. We know how important this is for you and your families, so we'll do everything we can to make getting what you need easier. I look forward to hearing from many of you during my time here as Ambassador," Nides concluded.