The United States has announced the deployment of military assets, including an aircraft carrier, ships, and fighter jets to the eastern Mediterranean following a Hamas attack on southern Israel, characterized by President Biden as an “unprecedented and appalling assault.” A US National Security spokesperson has confirmed that several US citizens were among the casualties of the attack.
Israel has reported over 700 deaths and 100 kidnappings in the wake of the attack, while Palestinian officials in Gaza have reported more than 400 casualties due to retaliatory Israeli airstrikes.
US Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin stated that the USS Gerald R Ford aircraft carrier, a missile cruiser, and four missile destroyers are en route to the region, along with fighter jets. Additionally, the US will provide Israel with further military aid in the coming days.
The US has expressed concerns that the conflict between Israel and Hamas could escalate and potentially involve other countries in the region. Of particular concern is the involvement of Hezbollah, a powerful Lebanese militant group backed by Iran, which also supports Hamas.
Iran’s President Ebrahim Raisi has voiced support for the Hamas attack, emphasizing the need to hold Israel accountable for regional instability. Hamas has acknowledged receiving assistance from Iran for its attack, which involved rockets, drones, militants on paragliders, and the breach of Israeli border fortifications around the Gaza Strip.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken stated that while there is no direct evidence of Iranian involvement in this specific attack, Iran has been providing support to Hamas for years.
At a UN Security Council meeting, Iran denied any involvement in the attack on Israel. Meanwhile, there are reports of missing individuals, including Americans and Canadians, in the aftermath of the conflict.
Israel’s ambassador to the US, Michael Herzog, acknowledged that Americans were among those abducted in southern Israel but did not have detailed information. The United States has long been a significant provider of military aid to Israel, which remains a close ally.
The UN Security Council is scheduled to convene in New York to address the ongoing violence in Israel and Gaza.