Surprise, Surprise: US Special Forces are Present in Gaza Aiding Israel

According to a Pentagon official’s revelation on October 31, 2023, the United States government deployed special forces to Israel to help find hundreds of hostages that militant organization Hamas has taken captive. 

“We’re actively helping the Israelis to do a number of things,” Christopher Maier, an assistant secretary of defense, said during a special operations conference in Washington, DC, per a New York Times report.

Hamas took around 245 people hostage during its surprise attack against southern Israel on October 7. This attack resulted in the killing of 1,400 people. The bulk of the hostages are civilians, and several are American nationals.

Thus far, Hamas has released four captives, which includes two US-Israeli dual nationals.

Maier said at the conference that a key objective for US special operators is to “identify hostages, including American hostages.”

Maier asserted that the US operators have not been tasked with combat roles but were in communication with Israeli forces to be briefed on the situation in Gaza for “what is going to be a very complex fight going forward.”

That said, it remains to be seen if US Special Forces activity will only be confined to hostage rescues. 

Former Defense Department advisor and staunch geopolitical realist, Douglas MacGregor declared on October 26 that several US Special Force operators accompanied by Israeli commandos had entered the Gaza Strip to conduct reconnaissance and determine potential ways for liberating the hostages. However, they were attacked and suffered significant  casualties.

On October 27,  Israel quietly kicked off ground operations in Gaza, shutting down communication in the strip and deploying ground troops in.

On October 31, New Press reported that Hamas fighters launched an ambush and killed US and Israeli forces east of the city of Beit Hanoun in Gaza.

US Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin has reportedly been holding discussions with Israel’s Defense Minister Yoav Gallant almost every day.

What’s happening in Israel is to be expected between two tribes (Israelis and Palestinians) who believe that they’re entitled to this territory in the Middle East. Conflict is always on the cards here. 

However, this should be none of the US’s business. Staying in the Middle East, especially in a region with an ascendant Iran and Turkey — who both champion the Palestinian cause — is just asking for all sorts of trouble. 

Instead, the US would be wise to focus on its internal affairs, namely its southern border with Mexico. That’s the real existential threat to its national security. 

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