Hamas says it underestimated US response to invasion

Senior Hamas leader said they “didn’t expect this much of a response” from the United States.

By Mindy Rubenstein, World Israel News

The Biden administration’s response to the Hamas invasion of Israel surprised the terror organization, which did not anticipate the war becoming so major an issue for the United States, a senior Hamas terrorist said.

In an interview with the U.K.-based Financial Times, senior Hamas leader Ali Barakeh said: “An Israeli response? Yes, we expected that. But what we’re seeing now is the entrance of the U.S. into the battle, and this we didn’t count on.”

The American intervention began on October 8, a day after the war began, when U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin announced the deployment of the world’s largest aircraft carrier, the USS Gerald R. Ford, off the coast of Israel.

The U.S. sent Lt.-Gen. James Glynn, a three-star U.S. Marines general, along with other military officers to assist in planning Israel’s ground offensive into the Gaza Strip.

Approximately 900 U.S. troops are being deployed to the U.S. Central Command area of operations, Ryder said. And to enhance Israel’s air defense capabilities and safeguard its citizens from rocket attacks, they are sending two U.S. Iron Dome systems.

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The U.S. Department of Defense has emphasized its primary goals in the Middle East, which include providing support for Israel’s defense needs and ensuring the protection of U.S. forces stationed in the region.

Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III maintains regular communication with Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant to receive updates on Israeli operations and military requirements, according to a statement by the U.S. Department of Defense.

During a recent address at the White House, President Joe Biden reaffirmed U.S. support for Israel, stating, “We stand with Israel … And we will make sure Israel has what it needs to take care of its citizens, defend itself, and respond to this attack.”

In a joint appearance with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said, “You may be strong enough on your own to defend yourself, but as long as America exists, you will never ever have to. We will always be there by your side.”

In his interview with the Financial Times, Barakeh also said the Hamas invasion into southwestern Israel was far more successful than originally planned in terms of capturing Israelis.

“Originally, the goal was only to grab 10-20 hostages,” Barakeh said.

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The IDF has identified over 220 captives still held by Gaza terrorists, after four were released.