America will send military ships, aircraft closer to Israel

US President Joe Biden speaks about the conflict in Israel in Washington

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken watches as US President Joe Biden (not pictured) delivers a statement about the crisis at the White House in Washington, US, about the conflict in Israel after Hamas launched its biggest attack in decades I speak. October 7, 2023. Reuters/Elizabeth Frantz/File Photo Get licensing rights

WASHINGTON, Oct 8 (Reuters) – Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said the United States will send several military ships and aircraft closer to Israel in a show of support, with Washington believing Hamas’ deadly attacks could hamper potential normalization. Can be inspired to. Israel–Saudi Arabia relations.

Hamas fighters ransacked Israeli towns and on Saturday the country faced its bloodiest day in decades. Israel attacked Palestinians in Gaza with airstrikes on Sunday, reportedly killing hundreds on both sides. The increasing violence threatens to trigger a major new war in the Middle East.

At least three Americans were among those killed, CNN reported on Sunday, citing a US memo.

Austin said in a statement that he had ordered the USS Gerald R. The Ford Carrier Strike Group is ordered to the eastern Mediterranean Sea closer to Israel. The force consists of carriers, one guided missile cruiser and four guided missile destroyers.

Austin also said the United States has also taken steps to increase the US Air Force’s F-35, F-15, F-16 and A-10 fighter aircraft squadrons in the region. He said the United States would also provide war materials to Israel.

US President Joe Biden told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday that additional aid for the Israeli Defense Forces is being delivered to Israel and that more aid will be coming in the coming days, the White House said after his call. US Vice President Kamala Harris also met Israeli President Isaac Herzog.

The Pentagon said in a later statement that Austin met Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Galant to update him on U.S. responses and “to express support for the Israeli people and to receive an update on Israeli operations to restore security from the terrorist attack by Hamas.” Spoken for.”

“The Secretary reaffirmed the United States’ unwavering support for Israel’s right to defend itself,” the statement said. It said Austin underlined that the US steps were “taken to strengthen the US military position in the region to strengthen regional deterrence efforts.”

A few dozen pro-Palestinian protesters gathered in New York City’s Times Square and near the White House in Washington on Sunday to protest US support for Israel.

Some protesters carried banners that read, “Stop US aid” and “Protest is not terrorism.” New York Governor Kathy Hochul on Saturday condemned plans for such demonstrations, saying they were “morally repugnant.”

The Hamas attack, launched at dawn on Saturday, represents the largest and deadliest incursion into Israel since a surprise attack by Egypt and Syria in an attempt to reclaim territory lost in the Yom Kippur War 50 years ago.

Degrading Saudi-Israeli relations

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told CNN, “It would not be surprising that part of the motivation may be to disrupt efforts to bring together Saudi Arabia and Israel, as well as other countries that have relations with Israel.” Interested in normalizing.” Regarding the attacks on Sunday.

Hamas said on Saturday that the attacks came in the wake of increasing Israeli attacks on Palestinians in the West Bank and Jerusalem, as well as Palestinians in Israeli prisons.

Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh highlighted threats to Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque, the continued Israeli blockade of Gaza, and Israeli normalization with countries in the region.

Netanyahu said last month that he believed his country was on the cusp of peace with Saudi Arabia, predicting the move could reshape the Middle East. Saudi Arabia, home to Islam’s two holiest shrines, has long insisted on the Palestinians’ right to a state as a condition of recognizing Israel – something many members of Netanyahu’s nationalist religious coalition have long supported. Have protested.

The United States said on Sunday that Saudi-Israeli normalization efforts should continue despite the latest attack.

“We think it would be in the best interests of both countries to pursue this possibility,” US Deputy National Security Adviser John Finer told Fox News Sunday.

Fighting continues in Gaza

Blinken called the attack on Israel a “terrorist attack perpetrated by a terrorist organization.”

Blinken said there was relative calm in most of Israel on Sunday, but there was intense fighting in Gaza, an Israeli-blockaded Palestinian enclave that has seen weeks of protests by youth groups over long-standing grievances related to the Israeli military occupation. is, the Palestinian civil cause and the long-running economic struggle.

He said the United States had not yet seen any evidence that Iran was behind the latest attack on Israel, but he noted the long-standing relationship between Iran and Hamas, which rules Gaza. Is.

Reporting by Kanishk Singh, Idris Ali, Steve Holland, Susan Heavey, Joey Roulette, Daphne Psaldakis and David Brunnstrom in Washington; Editing by Heather Timmons, Lisa Shumaker, Mark Porter and Dianne Craft


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Kanishk Singh is a breaking news reporter for Reuters in Washington DC, covering primarily US politics and national affairs in his current role. His previous breaking news coverage spans a range of topics such as the Black Lives Matter movement; US elections; The 2021 Capitol riots and their subsequent investigation; Brexit deal; US-China trade tensions; NATO withdrawal from Afghanistan; COVID-19 pandemic; and a 2019 Supreme Court decision on a religious dispute site in his native India.

National security correspondents report on U.S. military activity and operations and their impact around the world, focusing on the Pentagon in Washington, DC. There have been reports from more than two dozen countries, including Iraq, Afghanistan, and much of the Middle East, Asia, and Europe. From Karachi, Pakistan.

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