Pentagon Offers Israel Support for Extracting Hostages from Gaza

The US offer includes intelligence and planning, not US troops on the ground

The US military has offered Israel assistance in extracting hostages that Hamas has taken into Gaza, Pentagon officials told the media on Tuesday.

According to Task & Purpose, the US offer includes help planning and intelligence support, not US troops on the ground involved in the operation. CNN first reported the offer and said the support would also include surveillance and reconnaissance.

Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin made the offer to his Israeli counterpart, Yoav Gallant, in a conversation over the weekend. On Monday, Gallant ordered a “complete siege” of the Gaza Strip, which has been under blockade since 2007. Gallant said Israel was fighting “human animals” in Gaza, which is populated by about 1 million children.

Austin told the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) to “lean forward” in providing intelligence and support to Israel’s military. US Special Operations Command and US Central Command are also offering assistance. The US is also supporting Israel, which is expected to invade Gaza, by providing new military aid and deploying an aircraft carrier strike group.

It’s unclear how many hostages are in Gaza. Hamas has claimed it captured over 100 people, but Israel has not confirmed the number. President Biden said Monday that he believes American citizens are among the captured.

“We have not seen any hard numbers because it is so fluid, and many are dual citizens. I think when the dust settles the number will be significant,” a US official told CNN. On Monday, Hamas threatened it would start executing prisoners if Israeli airstrikes did not stop, and the Israeli bombardment has continued.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.