US reportedly ‘advising’ Israel to delay Gaza ground operation

The US Army reportedly want more time to prepare their forces for attacks on US interests in the region


An Israeli army soldier sits in the hatch of the turret of a Merkava battle tank as a column of tanks is amassed in the upper Galilee in northern Israel near the border with Lebanon on October 11, 2023. (Photo by Jalaa MAREY / AFP) (Photo by JALAA MAREY/AFP via Getty Images)

(JNS) The Biden administration is advising Israel to delay its ground invasion of the Gaza Strip, The New York Times reported on Sunday.

US officials told the newspaper that the White House wants more time to negotiate the release of hostages held by Hamas and to allow for more humanitarian aid into the Palestinian coastal enclave.

According to the Israelis, Hamas is holding 212 Israelis in Gaza whom they captured during the October 7 assault on southern Israeli communities. The terrorist group murdered at least 1,400 people and wounded over 5,100 in the attack.

The Americans also reportedly want more time to prepare their forces for attacks on U.S. interests in the region by Iran-backed terrorist groups that could follow an Israeli ground invasion of Gaza.

However, the officials said that the US isn't demanding a postponement and still supports Israel's ground invasion and goal of eradicating Hamas in Gaza.

Two US officials said that the advice to hold off on the invasion was being conveyed by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin to his Israeli counterpart Yoav Gallant.

However, a diplomat at the Israeli Embassy in Washington denied the report, telling the New York Times that the United States was not advising Israel to delay the ground invasion.

“We have a close dialogue and consultations with the US administration. The US is not pressing Israel in regards to the ground operation," the source said.

US President Joe Biden also held another phone call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday.

"The President welcomed the first two convoys of humanitarian assistance since Hamas’s October 7 terrorist attack, which crossed the border into Gaza and is being distributed to Palestinians in need. The leaders affirmed that there will now be continued flow of this critical assistance into Gaza," according to the White House.
"The President expressed appreciation for Israel’s support in helping to accommodate the release of two American hostages. The leaders discussed ongoing efforts to secure the release of all the remaining hostages taken by Hamas—including U.S. citizens—and to provide for safe passage for U.S. citizens and other civilians in Gaza who wish to depart."

The IDF said on Monday that over the past 24 hours, it had struck more than 320 military targets in the Gaza Strip, including "tunnels containing Hamas terrorists, dozens of operational command centers, some of which concealed Hamas and Islamic Jihad terrorists, military compounds and observation posts."

Israeli forces also struck dozens of mortar and missile launch posts that threatened troops massed near the Gaza border. Also overnight, an IDF tank hit a "number of terrorist cells," including an anti-tank missile cell.

Terrorists from the Gaza Strip fired an anti-tank missile at Israeli troops stationed along the border fence on Sunday afternoon, killing one soldier and injuring three others.

The Israel Defense Forces also struck Hezbollah targets in southern Lebanon overnight Monday, including a terror cell planning to carry out an anti-tank missile attack on the town of Shlomi.

It was the sixth terror cell hit by Israeli forces along the border since Sunday night, according to the IDF. Four of the cells had been preparing to launch missile or rocket attacks when they were hit, according to the Israeli military.

Additionally, the IDF destroyed an anti-tank missile launch post, a military compound, and an observation post belonging to the Iran-backed terrorist group.

Palestinian terrorist factions and Hezbollah have been carrying out cross-border attacks every day since the Oct. 7 massacre of more than 1,400 Israelis by Hamas terrorists from Gaza. Over 5,100 people were wounded in the attack, and 212 Israeli hostages were captured and taken back to Gaza.

In total, six Israelis, five soldiers, and one civilian have been killed at the Lebanese border since Oct. 7 in the worst escalation there since the 2006 war.

Israel announced on Sunday the planned evacuation of 14 additional communities near the border with Lebanon, after last week enacting a plan to relocate residents of 28 villages near the border and the nearby town of Kiryat Shmona.

According to an analysis by the Institute for National Security Studies, Hezbollah has 50,000 to 100,000 fighters and an arsenal of some 150,000 to 200,000 rockets, mortar bombs and missiles. Hundreds of those missiles are "of high precision and highly destructive."

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