By: AP & JNS.org
The Pentagon has sent “prepare to deploy” orders to about 2,000 U.S. troops to be ready to respond to the Israel-Hamas war, two U.S. officials said on the condition of anonymity to discuss a decision that has not been announced yet.
The troops would cover a variety of support roles, such as additional medical support or explosive ordnance support, such as providing additional security at gate crossings, one of the officials said.
They would not be sent to Israel but could be sent to countries in the region, one of the officials said. The Wall Street Journal was the first to report the orders.
Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said senators were briefed by senior State Department and Pentagon officials and given assurances that the United States was giving Israel “everything they need.”
“I asked the representatives of our Defense Department if they are giving Israel everything they need, and I was heartened that they said yes and that they are surging support,” Schumer said in a statement after Sunday evening’s unclassified briefing.
“I asked them if they have denied any requests that Israel has made, and they said no. I urged them to ensure Israel has everything it needs to protect itself, and reiterated that the Senate stands ready to deliver on additional needs,” he said.
Also on Monday, the Jewish News Syndicate reported that Israel’s military operation against Hamas was “just beginning,” and the Islamic terror organization would be destroyed, Israeli Intelligence Minister Gila Gamliel said on Friday.
The remarks were the latest indication that the Israeli offensive against Hamas, now entering its ninth day, would likely last for weeks, including a potential ground invasion of Gaza.
Israel was striking Hamas “decisively and extensively” and with “unprecedented force” following the surprise Hamas assault that killed at least 1,300 Israelis and wounded 3,000 on Oct. 7, said Gamliel.
“This is only the beginning,” Gamliel told JNS. “Hamas terrorists will have nowhere to hide. Anywhere there are terrorists [in Gaza] will be turned into ruins.”
The intelligence minister said that the Gaza-based terror group operated “exactly like Islamic State” in their indiscriminate targeting of civilians, including women, children, the elderly and the disabled. Videos of the gruesome killings have been shared with the U.S. administration as well as with other allied countries, she added.
Israel’s suspension of food, water, electricity and fuel to the coastal strip, which has been criticized by the European Union and the United Nations, was open-ended, said Gamliel.
“A country under attack cannot continue to support its aggressors,” she added. “Israel has no legal obligation to give an enemy that massacred our civilians additional resources in order to keep trying to murder us.”
Israel had been repaid for its years of such support with the massacre of its civilians, said Gamliel.
Israeli Energy Minister Israel Katz said Thursday that the restrictions on Gaza would remain in place until Hamas frees the estimated 150 hostages it abducted on Oct. 7 and is holding there.
“Not a single switch will be flipped on, not a single faucet will be turned on and not a single fuel truck will enter until the Israeli hostages are returned home,” Katz said on social media.
Blinken said on Thursday that he was holding discussions with Israel and regional leaders about setting up a humanitarian corridor for Palestinian civilians in Gaza.
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