US commandos are in Israel to help with efforts to locate hostages held in Gaza since the October 7 Hamas onslaught, The New York Times reports.
The report quotes Christopher P. Maier, an assistant secretary of defense, telling a Washington conference: “We’re actively helping the Israelis to do a number of things.”
He says the main task is to assist in the work to “identify hostages, including American hostages. It’s really our responsibility to do so.”
Officials who spoke on condition of anonymity tell the newspaper that several dozen US Special Operations forces have been sent, in addition to a team that was already in Israel for training.
As well as helping locate hostages, the US troops will also be used for evacuations and to secure embassies in the region if necessary.
The report says several Western countries have secretly moved special forces closer to Israel to help with the potential rescue of hostages, or for large-scale evacuations from Israel or Lebanon if the fighting widens
.US Second Gentleman Doug Emhoff will be traveling to London with Vice President Kamala Harris, the White House announces.
During his trip, Emhoff “will hold a [Wednesday] roundtable with Jewish community leaders to discuss combating antisemitism and countering hate,” the White House says.
On Thursday, Emhoff will meet with the Chelsea FC Foundation leadership to discuss their “Say No To Hate” campaign and participate in an event with students focused on countering racism,” the White House adds.
Addressing the UN Security Council meeting on the Israel-Hamas war, Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan likens the current moment to the Holocaust.
“Some of you have learned nothing in the past 80 years. Some of you have forgotten why this body was established,” he says.
“So, I will remind you. From this day on, each time you look at me, you will remember what staying silent in the face of evil means.”
“Just like my grandparents and the grandparents of millions of Jews, from now on, my team and I will wear Yellow stars. We will wear this star until you wake up and condemn the atrocities of Hamas.”
US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan meets with Saudi Arabia’s Defense Minister Prince Khalid bin Salman.
The White House readout largely consists of positions already stated by the Biden administration. The two leaders discuss efforts to boost defense cooperation between the US and Saudi Arabia.
Sullivan stresses US President Joe Biden’s “commitment to support the defense of US partners against threats from state and non-state actors, including those backed by Iran,” the White House says.
Sullivan and Prince Khalid discuss the Israel-Hamas war, including the need to boost humanitarian aid into Gaza, the White House adds.
They also stress the importance of using de-escalation efforts as a springboard for rejuvenating the peace process between Israelis and Palestinians, “building on the work that was already underway between Saudi Arabia and the United States over recent months,” the White House says, in a nod to the normalization talks that