This Sunday, October 8, the United States began sending military aid to Israel and moved its naval forces closer to the Mediterranean, following surprise attacks launched by the Palestinian organization Hamas.
In a call to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday, US President Joe Biden announced that “more aid is coming to the Israeli military and more will follow in the coming days,” according to a White House press release
Biden pledged “full support to the Israeli government and people after the horrific and unprecedented terrorist attack by Hamas.”
The first military aid package “will begin shipping today (Sunday) and will arrive in the coming days,” US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in a statement.
He also noted that he commanded the USS Gerald Ford aircraft carrier strike group, the largest warship in the world, to head to the eastern Mediterranean from the Ionian Sea, where it is located.
The Air Force has also increased the deployment of its fighter jets to the region, Austin said.
“The United States keeps its forces ready around the world to strengthen its deterrence posture if necessary,” he stressed.
Americans held hostage by Hamas
The head of American diplomacy, Antony Blinken, who increased his media presence this Sunday, shared information according to which Americans were among the victims of the attacks. “We are working to prove it,” he said.
The Israeli ambassador to the United States, Michael Herzog, showed for his part that among the hundreds of people, civilians and soldiers, kidnapped by Hamas in Israel, there are American citizens.
Contacts at the highest level between US and Israeli officials increased after the surprise offensive launched from the Gaza Strip by the Palestinian Islamist movement.
Despite the unanimous support for Israel from the US political leadership, the institutional situation is complicated for the Biden government, as one of the two chambers of Congress is paralyzed after the expulsion of its leader last week because of internal disagreements between Republicans.
Almost a year before the presidential election, Biden is under pressure from a Republican opposition that accuses him of weakness in his defense of Israel and his policy on Iran.
Blinken recalled on CNN on Sunday that President Barack Obama signed an agreement with Israel in 2016 “to provide $3.8 billion annually in military aid.”
“The entire (US) Executive Branch is engaged throughout the region and beyond to build support for Israel and to ensure that every country uses every means at its disposal and every influence it has for a Hamas withdrawal.” doesn’t come out anywhere else,” he told ABC.
Asked about the possible intention of Hamas to unleash hostilities to derail the discussions, supported by Washington, aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia, the Democratic Secretary of State stated: “That will be part of the motivation. Look, “Who” is against normalization? Hamas, Hezbollah, and Iran So it’s not a surprise.”
The death toll from the war between Hamas and Israel rose on Sunday to 370 in the Gaza Strip and “more than 600” in Israel, according to the latest reports from the respective authorities, adding to the thousands of injured.