- America warned Israel against long-term occupation of Gaza.
- Obama cautioned Israel not to alienate generations of Palestinians.
- Hamas releases two more hostages as families demand a ceasefire.
As the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) prepare for a ground offensive on Gaza, U.S. Marine Corps Lt. Gen. James Glynn, former commander of Marine Forces Special Operations Command, is returning to Israel to advise Israeli forces on their current operations, according to a U.S. official. Are ready for. Familiar with the matter.
The US official who broke the news revealed that Deputy Commandant for Manpower and Reserve Affairs Glynn could advise on the “big picture” surrounding the Gaza conflict.
With decades of experience, including command of Marine Forces Special Operations Command (MARSOC) and combat experience in Iraq.
National Security Council spokesman John Kirby would not confirm Glynn’s position when asked whether Glynn would advise the Israelis.
Instead, Kirby told reporters on Monday that the Biden administration had sent “some relevant military officials” to Israel who had “the kind of experience that we think Israel is running and will have in the future.” Can do, is suitable for him.”
Kirby said these officials would also “ask tough questions, the same tough questions we have been asking our Israeli counterparts from the very beginning.”
The US official said this included questions about how Israel planned to avoid civilian casualties, a number that has increased due to the IDF’s bombardment of the coastal area. cnn informed of.
Glynn is not the most senior US official to visit Israel since the October 7 Hamas attack.
Gen. Michael “Eric” Kurilla, commander of US Central Command, visited Israel last week and met with senior Israeli military leaders.
Glynn’s role is separate from the special operations forces sent by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to Israel to assist in intelligence and hostage rescue efforts. It’s unclear when Glynn arrived or how long he is expected to stay.
As the US and its allies urge Israel to be clear about its goals in Gaza, if it launches a broader campaign to target the coastal enclave, the US has threatened to end its long-term occupation of Gaza. Warned against.
American and Western officials said the US has also placed special emphasis on avoiding civilian casualties. cnn, US officials do not yet have a clear understanding of Israel’s intentions in Gaza and believe it will be difficult to completely eliminate Hamas.
Israeli officials have publicly stated that their goal is to eliminate Hamas and its infrastructure, while in private discussions, they have not sought to prevent Israel from using ground forces in Gaza.
The US emphasizes the need for clear objectives to degrade Hamas and avoid a long-term occupation of the Gaza Strip.
Israel prepared for ‘continued attacks’
Israel’s military said it was preparing for “sustained attacks” to eliminate Hamas, while former US President Barack Obama warned that “any Israeli military strategy that ignores the humanitarian costs could ultimately backfire”. Is.”
More than 5,000 Palestinians, including more than 2,000 children, have been martyred in two weeks of Israeli air strikes in response to Hamas’ October 7 attack on southern Israel, according to the Gaza health ministry, in which the group killed more than 1,400 people in Israel. Had inserted.
Israel struck hundreds of targets from the air in Gaza on Monday as its troops battled Hamas fighters during raids on the besieged Palestinian strip where civilians have been taken captive.
Obama warns Israel against civilian casualties
In a rare comment on a foreign policy dilemma, former US President Obama cautioned Israel not to alienate generations of Palestinians by causing so many civilian casualties in retaliating against Hamas.
“Any Israeli military strategy that ignores the humanitarian costs could ultimately backfire,” Obama said in a posted statement. The bombing of Gaza has already killed thousands of Palestinians, many of them children. Hundreds of thousands more Have been forced to leave their homes.” On social media.
It was not immediately clear whether Obama coordinated his statement with Biden, who was his vice president. The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
“The Israeli government’s decision to cut off food, water and electricity to the captive civilian population not only threatens to escalate a humanitarian crisis,” he said.
“It could further harden Palestinian attitudes for generations, erode global support for Israel, play into the hands of Israel’s enemies and undermine efforts to achieve peace and stability in the region,” he wrote in the published statement. “Could undermine long-term efforts.” medium It also condemned the Hamas attack and reiterated its support for Israel’s right to defend itself.
Hostage families are facing dilemma due to fear of attack on Gaza
Families of hostages held by Hamas are urging the Israeli government to halt the war effort and negotiate their release.
He warned that mediation could take years and that his best hope lay with the military, adding that he hoped ground forces would find the missing men, women and children before it was too late. reuters informed of.
Hamas fighters killed about 222 people aged between 9 months and 85 years during the October 7 attacks, during which they also killed 1,400 people. Many of them adopted dual nationality, many of whom held American and European passports.
The hostages are believed to be hiding in the Gaza Strip, possibly as Hamas has built a network of tunnels beneath the area, while Israeli warplanes have been striking the area ahead of a possible invasion.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to eliminate Hamas and that Israeli troops could enter Gaza at any time, but many families are urging him to focus only on the hostages.
Family support groups are holding daily protests outside Netanyahu’s office in Tel Aviv to spotlight the fate of the detainees, with a spot arranged for each missing person in the city center square as a symbol of their plight. A table has been set up. Who were kidnapped.
On Sunday, President Isaac Herzog met with several affected relatives at his Jerusalem residence, while hundreds of people demonstrated outside demanding more be done for the hostages.
“Revenge is not a plan,” read a banner carried by Carmel Gorny, a political activist whose cousin, Yiftah Gorny, was killed during the Hamas attack.
Gorny said, “We need to talk to Hamas. We cannot always resort to war. We have so many Palestinian prisoners that we can replace them with our own people.” “If our soldiers go in, many people will die, including the hostages.”
Hamas releases two more hostages
Hamas freed two Israeli women on Monday, among more than 200 hostages taken during the October 7 attack. They were the third and fourth hostages to be released.
According to reutersIsraeli Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Harzi Halevi issued a statement suggesting that Israel had no intention of stopping its attacks on the densely populated Gaza Strip and indicated that it was well prepared for a ground attack.
“We want to bring Hamas to a state of complete destruction,” Halevi said late Monday.
“This path is a path of continuous attacks, which are hurting Hamas everywhere and in every way. We are well prepared for ground operations in the south,” he said, referring to southern Israel adjacent to Gaza.
“Soldiers who have more time are better prepared, and that’s what we’re doing now.”
Publicly, the US has stressed Israel’s right to defend itself, but two sources familiar with the matter said the White House, the Pentagon and the State Department have stepped up private pleas for caution in negotiations with Israelis. .
The US priority is to buy time for negotiations to free the other hostages, said sources who spoke before Monday’s announcement of the hostages’ release.
Asked about the possibility of a ceasefire, US President Joe Biden said: “We must release those hostages and then we can talk.”