JERUSALEM/GAZA: In a shocking turn of events, the world is witnessing another conflict on the brink of a world war-like situation as Israel and Hamas engage in a violent exchange of fire. This confrontation erupted on October 7th when Hamas unleashed a barrage of missiles on Israel, claiming over 1,100 lives. In response, Israel retaliated by targeting Hamas military bases with rocket fire.
According to the Reuters, The Israeli military on Monday said it struck hundreds of Hamas and Islamic Jihad targets in the Gaza Strip overnight and had sent four combat divisions south where it continued to battle Islamist militants two days after a bloody incursion.
A military spokesperson said fighting was ongoing at seven or eight locations near Gaza two days after gunmen from Islamist group Hamas killed 700 Israelis and abducted dozens more in the deadliest raid into Israeli territory since Egypt and Syria’s attacks in the Yom Kippur war 50 years ago.
Adding fuel to the fire, the United States has officially entered the conflict, pledging its support and military assistance to Israel in its battle against Hamas. In a bold move, the U.S. has ordered the deployment of ships and fighter planes to the region near Israel, signifying its commitment to this tumultuous situation.
U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has issued orders for the Navy’s Ford Carrier Strike Group, led by the USS Gerald R. Ford, to position itself in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea, poised to assist Israel. The USS Gerald R. Ford will be accompanied by cruisers and destroyers, carrying approximately 5,000 troops and warplanes. The primary objective of this deployment appears to be monitoring and preventing further arms deliveries to Hamas.
Hamas, which governs the Gaza Strip, launched a surprise multi-pronged attack from air, land, and sea in southern Israel, resulting in the tragic loss of at least 600 Israeli lives, including soldiers. This marks the deadliest assault on the country in half a century. In response, Israel’s retaliatory strikes have claimed nearly 300 lives in the Gaza Strip. Tragically, initial reports suggest that at least four American citizens have lost their lives in these attacks, with seven more Americans reported missing.
The United States is not stopping at the USS Gerald R. Ford. Additional naval assets, including the cruiser USS Normandy and destroyers such as the USS Thomas Hudner, USS Ramage, USS Carney, and USS Roosevelt, are being dispatched to the region. The U.S. Air Force is also contributing to the effort, sending squadrons of F-35, F-15, F-16, and A-10 fighter aircraft to reinforce the mission.
The Ford Carrier Strike Group had previously conducted naval exercises with Italy in the Ionian Sea just last week, underscoring the gravity of this situation. It is crucial to note that the USS Gerald R. Ford is the United States’ most advanced aircraft carrier, and this marks its inaugural full deployment.
America’s involvement in the Israel-Hamas conflict harks back to a historical precedent. In 1973, during the Yom Kippur War, Egypt and Syria launched attacks against Israel. Israel had sought assistance from the United States, while the Soviet Union supported Egypt and Syria, exacerbating the conflict. The situation spiraled into a global crisis, with various countries aligning themselves with the opposing sides. Ultimately, Israel was compelled to withdraw its forces from the Sinai Peninsula after days of intense warfare, leading to a ceasefire.
The world now watches with bated breath as the specter of another protracted conflict looms over the Middle East, fraught with complex geopolitical dynamics. The consequences of this development are uncertain, as the international community hopes for a swift and peaceful resolution to avert further tragedy.