Ground units of the US Armed Forces may be sent to the Gaza Strip to free hostages, including American citizens. John Kirby, coordinator for strategic communications at the National Security Council (NSC) of the White House, suggested this possibility in an interview with Fox News.
“I will not rule out anything when it comes to bringing our citizens who are being held hostage home,” said he, answering the corresponding question from the presenter (quote from TASS).
Kirby added that the White House has “no plans or intentions” to send American troops to participate in the fighting between Israel and the Hamas group.
US State Department previously updated travel advisories to Israel and the Gaza Strip, allowing government employees and their families to leave Israel amid an unpredictable security situation. It warned that the situation inside Gaza and on its borders is “dangerous and unstable”, and during periods of unrest or armed conflict, checkpoints between the Gaza Strip and Israel and Egypt may be closed. When visiting the Gaza Strip, it is necessary to have an entry and exit plan that “will not depend on assistance from the US government,” the State Department emphasized.
According to various estimates, Hamas and Islamic Jihad (a terrorist organization banned in Russia) are holding between 150 and 200 people hostage, including women, children and the elderly. Many of the hostages also have foreign citizenship. Defense Minister Yoav Gallant has vowed to eliminate Hamas and said the military is “making every effort” to find the captured people. The Palestinian group claimed that some of the hostages had already died as a result of Israeli strikes on the Gaza Strip.