The United States government has clarified its stance, emphasising a commitment to diplomacy rather than military deployment on the ground following the recent attacks on Israel by Hamas.
This position was articulated by White House National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby on Monday.
While acknowledging the role of Iran in supporting Hamas, Kirby noted that the Biden administration has not identified concrete evidence directly linking Iran to the current attack on Israel.
The White House anticipates further security requests from Israel and is prepared to respond promptly to meet those needs.
Despite the ongoing crisis, diplomatic efforts to normalise relations between Saudi Arabia and Israel are being encouraged and are not being halted at this juncture.
Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden confirmed that a minimum of 11 American citizens have lost their lives in Israel as a result of the recent attacks carried out by the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas. The US government believes that it is highly probable that American citizens may also be among those held hostage by Hamas.
Biden underscored the United States’ commitment to working closely with Israeli officials to gather additional information about the whereabouts of unaccounted-for US citizens.
He assured American citizens in Israel that the State Department is actively providing consular assistance and updated security advisories. For those wishing to leave, commercial flights and ground transportation options remain accessible.
The conflict escalated when Hamas militants launched a surprise attack on Israel over the weekend, resulting in the loss of Israeli soldiers and civilians, along with the abduction of numerous hostages.
In response, Israel initiated a substantial bombardment of Gaza, prompting speculations regarding a potential ground offensive in the territory.
Biden emphasised that he has directed his team to collaborate closely with Israeli counterparts, encompassing intelligence-sharing and the deployment of experts from the US government, to address all aspects of the hostage situation.
Within the United States, police departments have heightened security measures around Jewish centers, responding to concerns of potential threats stemming from the ongoing crisis.
As apprehensions mount about the conflict potentially escalating into a broader regional issue, the White House reiterated that it currently has no plans for US military intervention on the ground. However, clear warnings have been issued to Iran and other entities against becoming involved in the crisis.
In a joint statement, President Biden, along with the leaders of France, Germany, Italy, and the UK, expressed their unwavering support for Israel’s right to defend itself. In Israel, the death toll has now reached 800, while in Gaza, 687 individuals have tragically lost their lives.