In a press call on October 9th, National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby announced that U.S. military assistance was “on the way” to Israel. While he did not specify what kind of equipment was being sent, Kirby mentioned that the first tranche of security assistance was already en route to Israel, with more expected to follow. He assured reporters that the United States would fulfill Israel’s security needs as quickly as possible.
This announcement comes amidst a conflict that has claimed the lives of approximately 1,200 people, including at least 11 Americans. President Joe Biden expressed his condolences for the families affected and stated that efforts were underway to locate missing American citizens. The President also acknowledged that some Americans may be among those being held by Hamas. State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller noted that the number of missing U.S. citizens is constantly changing but assured that efforts were being made to locate them.
As the situation escalates, Israel has declared war and announced measures aimed at Hamas-controlled Gaza. Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant revealed plans for a “complete siege” on the Gaza Strip, involving the cutoff of electricity, food, fuel, and water supplies. Israeli Infrastructure Minister Israel Katz emphasized that things would no longer be the same, as the nation braces for a potential ground operation.
To demonstrate solidarity with Israel, the White House will illuminate its facade in blue and white, the colors of the Israeli flag. This symbolic gesture highlights the U.S.’s support for Israel during these challenging times.
In response to the crisis, the Pentagon has taken steps to bolster its presence in the region and assist Israel. The USS Gerald R. Ford Carrier Strike Group has been directed to the eastern Mediterranean Sea, closer to the Israeli coast. The group includes a Navy aircraft carrier and several other vessels and aircraft. The Pentagon has also augmented its fighter aircraft squadrons in the Middle East.
With tensions escalating and lives at risk, the arrival of U.S. military assistance offers a glimmer of hope for Israel during these challenging times. As the situation unfolds, the United States remains committed to working with Israel and providing support to ensure its security and stability in the region.