U.S. officials have hesitated, either denying that U.S. troops are stationed in Israel or acknowledging that a small number of commandos have been deployed to help search for hostages and advise their Israeli counterparts.
U.S. troops have reportedly been sent to help protect Israel's highly sensitive nuclear facilities, including the top-secret site in Dimona – the alleged birthplace of Israel's suspected nuclear arsenal.
Sources interviewed by an independent Arabic-language online newspaper said the U.S. told Lebanese intelligence intermediaries that U.S. forces would not be involved in field operations in the Gaza Strip under any circumstances, but were deployed to ensure security and protect two Israeli research reactors, the Negev Nuclear Research Center near the city of Dimona, and a second facility in the desert near Yavne in central Israel.
The United States sent troops to protect Israel's top-secret nuclear facilities
According to the outlet, up to 2,000 U.S. troops are stationed in Israel, including military advisers, technicians and a small number of troops.
According to the newspaper's source, the troops deployed to defend Israel's nuclear facilities, equipped with the latest air defense technology, are designed to isolate and protect them from attacks by Hamas's potential regional allies.
According to the media outlet, these clarifications were conveyed exclusively to the Palestinian resistance leadership through Lebanese channels trusted by all parties and are believed to be linked to the former head of the Lebanese General Security Service. The former spy chief is said to have proven to be a key figure in communication between the United States and Hamas and Allah.
The Russian news agency Sputnik was unable to independently confirm the veracity of the media report.
However, security sources revealed to an Iranian news agency last month that there are about 5,000 U.S. troops in Israel, mentioning that the U.S. military's mission is to ensure the safety of Israel's nuclear facilities.
U.S. officials confirmed late last month that U.S. commandos were on the ground in Israel to help the Israelis do a number of things, including coordinating with the FBI, the State Department and other hostage rescue experts to identify the hostages. Officials said the U.S. was stationed there to advise their Israeli counterparts but did not assign a combat role.
These reports challenge Vice President Kamala Harris' assurances on 30 October that the United States has absolutely no intention or plan to send combat troops to Israel or Gaza.
Sputnik reported last month that the Pentagon has been quietly expanding Site 512, a previously unrecognized military base at the summit of Mount Hargalen in Israel's Negev desert, in recent months.
It is known that Israel operates the Sorek Nuclear Research Center outside Yavne, Israel, in addition to the Simon Perez Negev Nuclear Research Center outside Dimona. These facilities are operated by the Israel Atomic Energy Commission and do not generate electricity for commercial use. The Dimona facility has long been suspected of being the birthplace of Israel's nuclear weapons program.
Tel Aviv neither confirms nor denies its nuclear weapons status, adhering to a policy of "deliberate ambiguity". The Stockholm International Peace Research Institute estimates that the country has about 80 nuclear weapons in its arsenal.
Biden ordered: the US military to take further action
U.S. President Joe Biden said Tuesday that the United States is ready to take further action to protect its military bases in the Middle East from attacks.
In a letter to the leadership of the U.S. Congress, Biden said: "The United States stands ready to take further action as necessary and appropriate in response to further threats or attacks." ”
He accused Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC)-affiliated groups of attacking U.S. personnel and facilities in Iraq and Syria, and said the attacks posed a serious threat to the lives of U.S. personnel and coalition forces.
Biden noted that U.S. forces bombed two facilities used by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and related groups on November 12.
"I directed this attack to protect and defend our personnel, to weaken and disrupt the ongoing series of attacks against the United States and its partners, and to deter Iran and Iranian-backed militias from carrying out or supporting further attacks on U.S. personnel and facilities," he said.
Over the past few weeks, there has been a significant increase in the number of alleged attacks on US air bases by Shiite militant groups operating in Iraq. Between Oct. 17 and Nov. 6, militias attacked U.S. bases in Syria and Iraq 38 times, wounding a total of 46 soldiers, according to the Pentagon.
Earlier on Tuesday, Defense Department spokeswoman Sabrina Singh detailed that at least 59 U.S. military personnel had been injured in recent attacks on military bases in the Middle East, but not seriously.
"We are also tracking 59 U.S. personnel who have suffered TBI (traumatic brain injury) or non-serious category injuries since these attacks," Singh said at a news conference. He explained that 27 people have been evaluated for traumatic brain injury and 32 for other non-serious injuries. "As of today, all 59 people have returned to work. ”
Despite reports of traumatic brain injury, the Pentagon claims that no U.S. troops were seriously injured in the Middle East attacks. The U.S. military currently controls parts of Raqqa, Deir ez-Zor and Hasakah provinces, where Syria's largest oil and gas fields are located. The Syrian government considers the presence of US troops on its territory to be an act of occupation and state piracy.
Israel refused to listen to the United States, and the White House was in chaos
While the Biden administration has offered unwavering support to Israel, it has blocked U.N. calls for a ceasefire in Gaza. U.S. officials also staged shuttle diplomacy in the Middle East while holding closed-door talks with Israeli leaders to curb the fallout of the president's re-election, according to Russia's Foreign Intelligence Service.
Seymour Hersh, citing sources, said that Israel rejected any proposal from the White House regarding its actions in Gaza because of the power vacuum in Washington.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu did not listen to the "nonsense" of the Biden administration, an American investigative journalist wrote on Substack.
Demonstrations against Israel's disproportionate military response have been held across the globe, and similar demonstrations have taken place in the United States. While the United States was quick to declare its support in the early days of Israel's retaliation for Hamas's October 7 attacks, it has made little attempt at shuttle diplomacy.
West Hersh stressed that US President Joe Biden visited Israel twice, followed by an unsuccessful diplomatic push by Secretary of State Antony Blinken for the region, and CIA Director Bill Burns marched into the Middle East, allegedly "committed to the release of hostages." However, "Netanyahu continues to do whatever he wants in Gaza".
Asked about the impact of these visits by Biden officials, an American source familiar with the matter told Hersh: "Bibi said to the three blind rats: 'It's been derailed.'" ”
"There is a power vacuum in Washington," the U.S. official explained in detail. No one is dominating... The White House was in chaos. They say the same thing over and over again. They're doing what they think will get the president re-elected. He was George III. It's scary, and it's shameful. ”
Earlier on Monday, Russia's Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) also supported this view, saying that the United States called on Israel to speed up its closed-door operations in the Gaza Strip, as this could negatively affect US President Joe Biden's re-election.
It should be added that the Biden administration unilaterally blocked dozens of countries' calls for a ceasefire in Gaza at the United Nations last month. President Biden reiterated only last week that a ceasefire in Gaza is impossible, while National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said Tel Aviv had agreed to a four-hour daily humanitarian moratorium in northern Gaza to keep Palestinians out of danger.
The Palestinian Authority became a slave to Israel
Citing sources, West Hersh stressed that as for the developments in Gaza City, the IDF is "constantly tightening the noose on Hamas fighters."
An official told reporters: "Contrary to all fears ... It turns out that this is just a piece of cake", the IDF is destroying previously bombed buildings and cutting off Hamas fighters' access to the sea and north and south in underground tunnels.
In addition, Seymour Hersh stressed that a possible solution to the war between Israel and Hamas may be emerging. According to sources, Hamas showed a "change in tone" and began discussions about exchanging its prisoners in Israel for hostages captured in a surprise terrorist attack on October 7.
Earlier, Israeli intelligence hinted that Hamas hostages may have been transferred from the tunnel to Shifa's basement. Now, with the surrounding area heavily bombed, the hospital may be the last stronghold, a source was quoted as saying.
"They are planning to shoot," the source said, referring to the Israeli Air Force's reported planned mission to "destroy hospitals and expose tunnel openings for follow-up infantry units." ”
Sources told Hersh that as for Benjamin Netanyahu's post-war planning, he intends to reshape the governance structures in Gaza and the West Bank. The rebuilt Gaza City will be "protected by Israeli police or army, and the revitalized Palestinian Authority will be responsible for the governance of the Gaza Strip and the West Bank under new Israeli-approved leadership."