Joe Biden administration in the United States is preparing for the possibility of carrying out a mass evacuation of thousands of Americans from the Middle East if the ongoing conflict in Gaza doesn’t stop, the Washington Post reported citing officials.
This comes as Israeli forces, helped by US weapons and military advisers, prepare for a ground invasion against Hamas terrorists responsible for the horrific cross-border attack on October 7 that killed over 1400 people.
According to the Washington Post, the officials said that Americans living in Israel and neighboring Lebanon are of particular concern, but they also emphasized that such a large-scale evacuation is only considered a worst-case scenario and that other outcomes are seen as more likely.
According to three people familiar with the discussions, the US administration has recently turned its attention in part to the challenging logistics of abruptly having to relocate a significant number of people because it is deeply concerned about the prospect of escalation despite its public support for Israel.
According to State Department estimates, there were around 6,00,000 US citizens in Israel and an additional 86,000 were reportedly in Lebanon at the time of the Hamas attack.
“This has become a real issue,” one official said. “The administration is very, very, very worried that this thing is going to get out of hand.”
The State Department last week issued an advisory to all US citizens worldwide due to “increased tensions in various locations around the world, the potential for terrorist attacks, and demonstrations or violent actions against US citizens and interests,” urging them to “exercise increased caution,” according to the Washington Post.
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