Hamas says it's 'not frightened' by the US moving aircraft carrier to Israel, as conflict deepens

9 October 2023, 15:45

Hamas has said it isn't frightened of the US moving in its aircraft carrier
Hamas has said it isn't frightened of the US moving in its aircraft carrier. Picture: Alamy

By Kit Heren

Hamas has claimed that it is not scared of the US moving in an aircraft carrier strike group after the militant group's attack on Israel.

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The US is moving in the USS Gerald R. Ford, the navy's newest and most advanced aircraft carrier, along with around 5,000 sailors and deck of warplanes, as well as naval cruisers and destroyers.

The aircraft carrier will be able to respond to a range of possible situations, including stopping more weapons from reaching Hamas and conducting surveillance.

It comes after Hamas launched an attack on southern Israel from Gaza on Saturday, before Israel retaliated. Some 700 Israelis are dead, including many women and children, as well as around 500 Palestinians.

At least ten British people are feared to be dead or missing, with one man confirmed to have been killed so far.

Read more: 'More than 260 bodies found' at Israel festival site after Hamas paragliders shot revellers dead

Read more: More than ten Brits feared dead or missing in Israel as rocket attacks continue

American aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford
American aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford. Picture: Getty

Responding to news of the aircraft carrier, a spokesman for Hamas said: "These movements do not frighten our people nor their resistance, which will continue to defend our people and our holy places."

The US is thought to be trying to stop the conflict escalating further. Along with the Ford the White House is sending the cruiser USS Normandy, destroyers USS Thomas Hudner, USS Ramage, USS Carney, and USS Roosevelt and the US is augmenting Air Force F-35, F-15, F-16, and A-10 fighter aircraft squadrons in the region.

"The US maintains ready forces globally to further reinforce this deterrence posture if required," US defence secretary Lloyd Austin said in a statement.

The US will also be "rapidly providing the Israel defence forces with additional equipment and resources, including munitions. The first security assistance will begin moving today and arriving in the coming days," Mr Austin said.

Rockets are launched from the Gaza Strip towards Israel on Saturday
Rockets are launched from the Gaza Strip towards Israel on Saturday. Picture: Alamy

The carrier strike group was already in the Mediterranean. Last week it was conducting naval exercises with Italy in the Ionian Sea. The carrier is in its first full deployment.

US President Joe Biden and Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in a telephone call on Sunday, discussed "the taking of hostages by Hamas terrorists, including entire families, the elderly, and young children".

A dance music festival in southern Israel was among those to be hit in the attacks on Saturday, as Hamas gunmen paraglided across the border and opened fire on the site full of hundreds of young people.

Israel has started preparations to launch a major ground offensive on Hamas as it orders a ‘complete siege’ on Gaza, blocking electricity, fuel and food from entering.

"I have ordered a complete siege on the Gaza Strip. There will be no electricity, no food, no fuel, everything is closed. We are fighting human animals and we act accordingly," Israel’s Defence Minister Yoav Gallant said.

Israel controls the air space over Gaza and its shoreline, enabling them to restrict goods allowed in and out through the border.

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