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Dozens of Israelis being held captive, U.S. sending carrier strike group to assist Israel

9 months 1 week 5 days ago Sunday, October 08 2023 Oct 8, 2023 October 08, 2023 12:39 PM October 08, 2023 in News
By: Tanner Fooshee
(AP Photo/Hatem Moussa)

ISRAEL - The leader of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad group claims to have more than 30 Israeli captives, among dozens more being held in Gaza.

According to The Associated Press, Ziad Nakhaleh announced in a televised speech that the captives would only be released once all Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails were let go. Reports now say Nakhaleh's group participated alongside Hamas in Saturday's surprise attack.

Israel's minister for strategic affairs, Ron Dermer, has claimed that American citizens are among those who were taken hostage. Dermer gave no details about these individuals, claiming they were still working to sort out information.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken has confirmed that U.S. officials are working to verify these reports. Blinken also said the U.S. may potentially be sending additional military assets to Israel.

This was followed by Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin ordering the Ford carrier strike group to sail to the Eastern Mediterranean to be ready to assist Israel.

The group will meet with the Norfolk, Virginia-based carrier strike group, which was already in the Mediterranean, in a show of force that is meant to be ready to respond to anything.

This all comes after the Israeli Security Cabinet declared war on Hamas Sunday morning. This formal declaration authorizes "the taking of significant military steps," the cabinet said in a statement.

Several Louisiana leaders took to social media Saturday to express their feelings on the attack.

"This is an unprecedented Hamas attack against Israeli civilians. The United States must stand with Israel as they defend their people and their land. Our hearts are with Israel today," said Senator Bill Cassidy.

Congressman Troy Carter shared a similar statement saying "I am horrified by the attacks against Israel by the hands of hateful terrorist groups like Hamas that have taken innocent lives. I am praying for all who are victims of this tragedy. America stands with Israel."

So far, the death toll has reached more than 1,100 with thousands more wounded on both sides.

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