US, UK aided Israel in bloody operation in Nuseirat refugee camp

Ahram Online , Sunday 9 Jun 2024

The United States and Britain provided support to the Israeli raid that released four captives in central Gaza on Saturday and killed more than 240 Palestinians and wounded 400, American and Israeli media reported citing US officials.

Palestinians look at the aftermath of the Israeli bombing in Nuseirat refugee camp, Gaza Strip, June 2024. AP


An American cell in Israel supported the efforts to release the Israeli captives, working with Israeli forces on the operation, a US official told CNN.

The official referred to a US team that’s been in place supporting Israel since 7 October with information gathering about the captives.

That team, composed of special operations, military, and intelligence personnel working out of the embassy in Jerusalem, has been in Israel since the war began, The Washington Post reported. 

Since then, it has shared with Israeli counterparts information about captives’ potential location gleaned from US drone surveillance over Gaza, communications intercepts and other sources, said the people familiar with the matter.

Axios and the New York Times also reported on US involvement in the rescue operation.

According to the NYT, an Israeli official said that the US and Britain have been able to provide intelligence from the flights over Gaza, as well as from cyberspace, that Israel is not able to obtain by itself.

Washington maintains what one US official characterized as a “very deep partnership” with Israel on its rescue efforts.

US intelligence analysts also are helping Israeli officials with powerful analytic technologies that fuse fragments of information, according to officials with knowledge of that work, The Post added.

However, there were no US troops on the ground during the mission, according to the source who is familiar with the matter, speaking to CNN.

CNN previously reported that Israel spent weeks preparing for Saturday’s operation, with hundreds of personnel from the Israeli military, the domestic intelligence service and a police special unit involved.

One Israeli special operator was killed in the operation.

In a statement issued by the White House, National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan congratulated Israeli security forces on the successful operation, and made an oblique reference to US support, including through "ongoing negotiations or other means."

Israeli forces infiltrated the Nuseirat camp by hiding inside an aid truck. Footage aired by Al Jazeera shows the truck inside the refugee camp accompanied by armored vehicles.


“A truck arrived carrying humanitarian aid and clothes, and suddenly 10 soldiers got out and shot me, once in the chest and twice in the feet. The artillery shelling started, and I saw dozens of citizens on the ground, including people with their heads cut off,” a Palestinian man who survived the massacre told reporters.

“The truck came from the American port that the occupation established in the Gaza Sea,” he added

Israeli media confirmed the troops hid inside a truck, which they described as being used for “furniture delivery.”


“Israeli forces, including Shin Bet and the Israel Police special counterterrorism unit, Yamam, utilized a furniture delivery truck as cover to infiltrate the area near Al-Awda Hospital,” Israel Hayom reported in the hours following the bloody operation.

Video circulating online Saturday shows an Israeli Blackhawk helicopter close to the pier, picking up captives and security forces before departing. The pier can be seen, along with an aid vehicle and military equipment, including a US M-LIDs counter-drone system.

American officials told CBS that the US pier, which Washington says was established to assist delivery of humanitarian aid, was not used in the Israeli operation.

A US official explained that the helicopter landed south of the facility on a beach but not within the cordoned area of the pier.

"The pier facility was not used in the operation to rescue hostages today in Gaza. An area south of the facility was used to safely return the captives to Israel," a US official told CBS. "Any such claim to the contrary is false."

In a statement later Saturday, US Central Command reiterated that "pier facility, including its equipment, personnel, and assets were not used in the operation to rescue hostages today in Gaza."

On Sunday, the Israeli army continued to operate in the central Gaza Strip, attacking east Bureij and east Deir Al-Balah — east and southeast of Nuseirat, where the rescue operation took place.

Meanwhile, attacks also continue in southern Gaza’s Rafah, where drones struck the Islamic University.

Four people were killed in a strike on a home in Bureij, the Palestinian news agency Wafa said, with two others killed in Rafah's Tal Al Sultan neighbourhood.



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