US Drone Flights Over Gaza Supported Israeli Operation That Killed Over 200 Palestinians in Nuseirat

By Dave DeCamp –

Israel received intelligence support from the US in its Saturday operation in central Gaza’s Nuseirat camp that killed over 200 Palestinians and freed four Israeli hostages.

The intelligence support included information provided by US drone flights over Gaza. The US began flying MQ-9 Reaper drones over Gaza days after October 7 and deployed special operations forces to Israel, demonstrating that US military support for Israel goes beyond providing weapons.

The Washington Post reported that a team of US special operations soldiers and intelligence personnel based at the US Embassy in Jerusalem provided the intelligence support. Besides the drone flights, the US provided communications intercepts, and Israel also received intelligence support from the UK.

Local residents said the Israeli special forces who carried out the raid were disguised as displaced Palestinians from Rafah, and others entered the camp in an aid truck. The Israeli military denied it used an aid truck, but Israeli media reported Israeli soldiers meant to blend in as Arabs were part of the attack. Israeli warplanes pounded Nuseirat as the Israeli commandos on the ground moved to locate the hostages.

An injured child is assisted at Al-Aqsa Martyrs Hospital in the aftermath of an Israeli strike in the central Gaza Strip, June 8, 2024. REUTERS/Doaa Rouqa

According to Gaza’s Health Ministry, 274 Palestinians were killed in the attack on Nuseirat, and 678 were wounded. Gaza’s Media Office said 64 of the dead were children, and 57 were women. The total death toll in Gaza since October 7 has surpassed 37,000.

Israel claimed it killed less than 100 people in the assault, while the US said it didn’t know how many people died. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan celebrated the assault and also acknowledged that “innocent people” were killed.

“We, the United States, are not in a position today to make a definitive statement about that. The Israeli defense forces have put out one number. The Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry has put out another number,” Sullivan said. “But we do know this … Innocent people were tragically killed in this operation.”

Hamas alleged that the Israeli attack killed three other Israeli hostages, including an American citizen. The Palestinian group released a video of three corpses, but they were unidentifiable.

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