White House in discussions with Israel on deploying US troops to Gaza

Secretary of State Antony Blinken testifies at the Capitol in Washington on Tuesday, as demonstrators hold up red-colored hands in protest of U.S. complicity in Israel's genocide against the Palestinians. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

On Tuesday, Bloomberg reported that the United States and Israeli governments are in active discussions regarding the deployment of US troops to Gaza to act as an occupying force after Israel’s planned crushing of the Palestinian resistance.

“The US and Israel are exploring options for the future of the Gaza Strip, including the possibility of a multinational force that may involve American troops,” Bloomberg reported.

The moves were “impelled by a sense of urgency to come up with a plan for the future of Gaza now that a ground invasion has begun,” Bloomberg stated.

Bloomberg’s report underscores the degree to which the United States is not merely a passive supporter, but an active participant in Israel’s genocide against the Palestinians.

The report gives details of a cryptic comment made by Secretary of State Antony Blinken before the Senate Appropriations Committee. He said, “We can’t have a reversion to the status quo with Hamas running Gaza.”

Blinken added, “We also can’t have—and the Israelis start with this proposition themselves—Israel running or controlling Gaza. Between those shoals are a variety of possible permutations that we’re looking at very closely now, as are other countries.”

As Blinken testified, multiple people sitting behind him held up their hands painted in red, symbolizing the bloody role of the United States government in facilitating Israel’s genocide against the Palestinians.

As Blinken was making these comments, news was filtering in about Israel’s airstrike on Jabalia, Gaza’s largest refugee camp, which killed and injured hundreds of people and prompted a wave of anger around the world.

There are growing indications, as yet unverified, that US troops are actively involved in the fighting in Gaza.

Salman al-Harfi, Palestine’s former ambassador to France, told Sputnik News on Monday that US military personnel said US troops were directly involved in the ground operation against Gaza.

“They not only support [Israel], but are also participating in the war against the Palestinian people,” al-Harfi told Sputnik. “The United States is sending military personnel to the area. They are involved in military operations on the ground in Gaza.”

Bloomberg’s report contradicts the public assertion by Vice President Kamala Harris Sunday that “we have absolutely no intention nor do we have any plans to send combat troops into Israel or Gaza, period.”

On Tuesday, the US announced that it would send 300 more troops to join the more than 40,000 that are already deployed throughout the Middle East.

The troops “are intended to support regional deterrence efforts and further bolster US force protection capabilities,” Air Force Brig. Gen. Pat Ryder said.

Since Hamas’s October 7 incursion into Israel, the United States has surged warships, troops and aircraft into the Middle East without precedent outside of wartime.

On Monday, the Pentagon confirmed that USS Bataan (LHD-5) and USS Carter Hall, two massive US amphibious assault ships, will stay in the Red Sea as part of the troop buildup in the Middle East.

The ships house the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, a 2,600-strong force of Marines. In addition to the Carter Hall, three guided missile destroyers are also in the Red Sea. One of these destroyers, USS Carney, is claimed by the US to have shot down multiple missiles and drones launched by Houthi rebels in Yemen on October 19.

The USS Gerald R. Ford and its associated carrier strike group is currently operating in the eastern Mediterranean, and is being joined by the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, which entered the Mediterranean Sea on Monday.

On Thursday, the US attacked what it claimed were Iran-backed militia sites inside of Syria.

In his testimony on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, Blinken made clear the vital significance of the Middle East in the US’s efforts to subjugate Russia and China.

“For our adversaries, be they states or nonstates, this is all one fight,” Blinken said. “If we start to peel off pieces of this package, they will see that, they will understand that we are playing whack-a-mole, while they cooperate increasingly.”

Blinken will travel to Israel Friday “for meetings with members of the Israeli government, and then will make other stops in the region,” the State Department said.

Blinken’s trip takes place as it is clear that the war is expanding in both scope and intensity. On Tuesday, Yemen’s Houthi militia claimed to have carried out a missile attack on Southern Israel, using a “large batch” of missiles and drones.

The massive US troop buildup in the Middle East is accompanied by an intensifying bombing campaign against the population of Gaza. On Tuesday, the New York Times reported that “at least a quarter of all buildings in northern Gaza” appear to be either damaged or destroyed, based on an analysis of satellite images by two university researchers.

They estimate that as many as 44,500 buildings throughout the Gaza Strip have been destroyed. The airstrikes have so far killed more than 8,000 people, according to Gaza health authorities.

Unlike the October 17 bombing of Al-Ahli Arab Hospital, which killed 500 people, the Israeli military publicly took responsibility for the Jabalia refugee camp bombing.

In an interview with CNN, Lt. Col. Richard Hecht admitted that the IDF knew there were civilians in the area it was bombing and proceeded regardless.

“But you know that there are a lot of refugees, a lot of innocent civilians, men, women and children in that refugee camp as well, right?” CNN moderator Wolf Blitzer asked.

“This is the tragedy of war, Wolf,” Hecht replied.

On Tuesday, the director of the UN’s Human Rights Office in New York, Craig Mokhiber, resigned in protest of Israel’s genocide in Gaza. “Once again, we are seeing a genocide unfolding before our eyes, and the Organization that we serve appears powerless to stop it,” he wrote in a letter to UN High Commissioner on Human Rights Volker Turk.

UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), meanwhile reported that 3,450 children in Gaza had been killed since October 8.

“Our gravest fears about the reported numbers of children killed becoming dozens, then hundreds, and ultimately thousands were realised in just a fortnight,” James Elder, a spokesperson for UNICEF said Tuesday.

“The numbers are appalling; reportedly more than 3,450 children killed; staggeringly this rises significantly every day. ... Gaza has become a graveyard for thousands of children.”