President Joe Biden is slated to address the nation on Tuesday at 1 p.m. ET, in the wake of a recent surprise attack by Hamas militants on Israel. This attack has led to an ongoing conflict between the two sides. Israel’s military announced on Tuesday that it had regained control within its borders and had imposed a “full siege” on Gaza, prohibiting the entry of essential supplies such as food, gas, and electricity into the densely populated region, according to Defense Minister Yoav Gallant.
Concerns have risen regarding the fate of hostages taken by Hamas fighters in southern parts of Israel, where the militant group threatened to execute hostages if Israel targeted civilian locations in Gaza. While the exact number of hostages remains unknown, there has been no confirmation of any American citizens among them. However, U.S. National Security Council spokesman John Kirby has stated that several Americans are unaccounted for, and there is a possibility that some may be held hostage.
In a statement issued on Monday, President Biden expressed his sorrow over the escalating situation, revealing that at least 11 Americans had lost their lives in the Israel-Hamas conflict. He also voiced concern that some Americans may be among the hostages, condemning the tragic loss of innocent lives and labeling it an outrage. President Biden reiterated his administration’s support for Israel, emphasizing his commitment to ensuring that Israel has the necessary resources to defend itself and its citizens.
As a gesture of solidarity with Israel, the Biden administration has dispatched the Navy’s USS Gerald Ford Carrier Strike Group to the eastern Mediterranean Sea. Additionally, officials have decided to retain some F-16 and A-10 fighter jets, originally scheduled to be rotated out of the region, as a signal to de-escalate the situation.
The death toll from the Israel-Hamas conflict has climbed to over 1,600 people as of Tuesday morning, marking three days since the surprise attacks were initiated by Hamas militants. This toll includes more than 900 casualties in Israel and at least 770 in Gaza, with over 6,000 individuals sustaining injuries in both regions.
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President Biden is expected to grapple with conflicting pressures both within and outside of the Democratic Party as he endeavors to fulfill his commitment to support Israel’s defense efforts.