Biden indicated that the US regretted the horrors of the terrorist assault perpetrated over the weekend. The US leader stated that the incident was horrific as hundreds of civilians died.
President Biden added that the US continues to account for the tragedy’s scale and reach. He admitted that 11 US citizens were lost, as many considered Israel their second home.
Biden Confirms US Citizens Among Captives Held by Hamas
Biden illustrated that the US citizens are likely among the captives held by Hamas. He indicated that the US would work alongside the Israeli officials to resolve the hostage crisis. The president confessed that there are several Americans whose whereabouts are unaccounted for following the tragedy.
Biden indicated that the horrific incident is not a distant tragedy. Instead, the US-Israel ties run deep. The statement stated that the disaster was a personal experience for multiple American families mourning the painful attack. Also, American families bear the scars inflicted by antisemitism and Jewish persecution.
The US government ruled out an active response to the emergency evacuation of its US citizens living in Israel. In particular, Biden’s statement illustrated that the State Department would offer consular assistance.
Biden assured that the State Department would update security alerts to inform US Americans of the evolving situation. Nonetheless, the US citizens would need to make their travel arrangements to exit Israel. The president indicated that the citizens desiring to leave Israel can choose commercial flights and ground alternatives since they are still available.
US Assures Support for Israel and Contact with Qatar’s Mediation Role
The State Department spokesman Matt Miller informed CNN’s reporter Phil Mattingly on Monday, October 9, that the US authorities would retain close contact with the Israel counterparts and the families whose relatives suffered deaths and injuries during the attack.
The US authorities seek to establish how the citizens were killed and taken captive in the Israel-Hamas conflict.
Secretary Antony Blinken revealed to CNN’s Dana Bash when appearing on Sunday’s State of the Union session that the US authorities would work overtime to ascertain missing and dead individuals. The Israeli’s Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer confirmed that the US citizens are among the dozens of hostages held captive in Gaza.
The US committed to offering special operations planning alongside intelligence support to Israel to rescue the captives. The US Defense official ruled out providing ground troops to Israel.
The US would offer support through surveillance, reconnaissance, and intelligence. The official indicated that the US would tap the US Central Command alongside the US Special Operations Command. Also, Israel would benefit from the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) considered the military command in developing special operations tactics.
The US indicated that Qatar is mediating and talking with Hamas regarding the hostages held by the terror group. The US confirmed working with the Qataris regarding the captives’ status.
The White House and State Department officials indicated they were in active contact with the Qataris over the weekend. Blinken echoed the revelation by the Assistant Secretary of State responsible for Near Eastern Affairs, Barbara Leaf, that they have retained contact with the Qataris who are communicating with Hamas over the weekend.
The US assured the Israeli authorities that it would offer additional military support in the subsequent days. However, the US official admitted that domestic dysfunction could hinder the response.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin revealed ordering the Navy’s Ford strike group on Sunday to head toward the Eastern Mediterranean region near Israel. The USS Gerald Ford carrier is today’s most advanced carrier for the US Navy. He added that the aircraft carrier deployed in a deterrence measure features the guided missile cruiser alongside four destroyers.
The Biden administration aims to offer additional assistance to Tel Aviv, though the officials are uncertain about the proposal given the absence of a sitting House speaker. The acting speaker, Patrick McHenry, lacks power besides recess, adjourn, and recognize speaker nominations. The White House officials admitted the uncertainty of McHenry’s participation in the intelligence briefings on the Israel-Hamas crisis.
The administration officials indicated they are evaluating the $100 million allocation in the Presidential Drawdown Authority. Doing so would expedite the dispatch of weapons by using the current stocks. The officials indicated that the drawdown would require additional funds allocation from the Congress.