US Involved in Israeli Rescue Operation That Killed Over 200 Palestinians


Four captives released and taken back to Israel from Gaza, as Israeli bombs pound central Gaza

The United States supported the Israeli military in rescuing four Israeli captives from Gaza on Saturday, in a “complex daytime operation” that killed over 200 Palestinians in Nuseirat, multiple news agencies have reported.

A US official told Axios that a US cell stationed in Israel “supported” the Israeli military’s operation, with the New York Times later reporting that the US provided “intelligence and other logistical support.”

Citing a source familiar with the matter, CNN reported that there were “no US boots on the ground,” adding that the American cell has been in place since 7 October, supporting Israel with information gathering. 

However, videos circulating online on Saturday showed a helicopter taking off from the beach in Gaza with the US pier in the backdrop.

Two US officials told CBS News that the pier was not used in the operation and in a series of statements released later on Saturday, US Central Command (Centcom) said that the “pier facility, including its equipment, personnel, and assets were not used in the operation to rescue hostages today in Gaza.”

“The temporary pier on the coast of Gaza was put in place for one purpose only, to help move additional, urgently needed lifesaving assistance into Gaza,” Centcom said in a separate post on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Earlier on Saturday, the Israeli army said it targeted “terrorist infrastructure in the Nuseirat area,” north of the town of Deir al-Balah in the centre of the besieged enclave.
The Palestinian government media office in Gaza said the death toll from Israel’s attack reached at least 236, with 400 more wounded.

The Palestinian health ministry confirmed that a large number of dead and wounded Palestinian had arrived at Al-Aqsa Martyrs hospital. It said that most of them were children and women.
“The occupation has annihilated the Nuseirat refugee camp. Innocent and unarmed civilian were bombed in their homes. I’ve never seen anything like this. It’s a catastrophe,” local resident Nidal Abdo told Middle East Eye. 

“I came from the camp to here in the hospital on foot. I can’t describe how we fled. I saw dead children and body parts strewn all over as we fled. No one was able to assist them. I saw an elderly man killed on a animal-drawn cart.

“Nuseirat was being annihilated. It was hell.”

Khalil al-Tahrawi, another resident, told MEE that Israeli forces began bombing Nuseirat following the early morning rescue operation.

“Israeli warplanes began bombing us in all directions to cover up the withdrawal process that had taken place. I do not know exactly what happened because I was taking shelter on the ground, but I could hear the sound of gunfire and of shells falling.”

“Commenting later on Saturday, the spokesperson of Hamas’s Qassam Brigades, Abu Obaida, said that other captives had been killed during the rescue operation.

Earlier this week, the Israeli military announced it had verified the deaths of four Israelis held by Hamas, based on newly acquired intelligence.

According to the Israeli daily Haaretz, the Israeli army was checking whether they were killed by the group. All four captives were known to be alive when they entered Gaza.

Chaim Peri, 79, Amiram Cooper, 84, Yoram Metzger, 80, and Nadav Popplewell, 51, were believed to have been together in the Khan Younis area and to have died together several months ago.

In December, Hamas published a video of Peri, Cooper and Metzger alive, and in March Hamas said that the three were killed by Israeli strikes. The bodies of all four are being held by Hamas, the Israeli army said.
Israel’s war on Gaza, now in its ninth month, has turned much of the enclave, which is home to more than two million Palestinians, into an uninhabitable hellscape.

Whole neighbourhoods have been erased. Homes, schools and hospitals have been devastated by air strikes and scorched by tank fire. 

Nearly the entire population is reported to have fled their homes, and those who remained in northern Gaza are on the verge of famine.

More than 36,000 people have been killed, the great majority of them women and children. Thousands more are missing or presumed to be dead under the rubble.


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