The USS Gerald Ford, a state-of-the-art warship of the US Navy, has been asked to sail to the Eastern Mediterranean, where the vessel can position itself to assist Israel in the Jewish nation’s sudden and massive conflict with Palestine’s Hamas that began from dawn on Saturday.
US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said yesterday that the USS Gerald Ford aircraft carrier and its strike group had been given this order. Not only does the United States of America count Israel among its key allies, but also the Biden Administration said that the Hamas attack — thousands of rockets fired from Gaza into Israel — had killed American citizens. The current overall death toll is estimated to be around 1,000.
A post of X (formerly Twitter) today by US President Joe Biden said: “This morning, I spoke with @IsraeliPM to express my full support for the people of Israel in the face of an unprecedented and appalling assault by Hamas terrorists. We will remain in close contact over the coming days. The U.S. will continue to stand with the people of Israel.”
The news agency Associated Press (AP) cited “preliminary reports” to say that “at least four American citizens were killed” and “seven were missing and unaccounted for”, according to official sources in the US.
According to the AP report: “The USS Gerald R. Ford, the [US] Navy’s newest and most advanced aircraft carrier, and its approximately 5,000 sailors and deck of warplanes will be accompanied by cruisers and destroyers in a show of force that is meant to be ready to respond to anything, from possibly interdicting additional weapons from reaching Hamas and conducting surveillance.”
Though at the moment the presence of the US warship is only “a show of force”, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu unequivocally declared following the Hamas attack that his country was “at war”. Therefore, once again, the US is drawn into a major conflict in the Middle East after its withdrawal of troops from Iraq and Afghanistan.