The White House stated on Monday that the United States aims to avoid a broader conflict with Iran or the region, asserting that the administration attributes a single drone for targeting US service members in Jordan over the weekend.
John Kirby, the national security spokesman, conveyed in an interview with MSNBC that discussions regarding the release of prisoners in Gaza have been productive, and the US perceives a framework for another agreement.
Residents of Gaza criticized the renewed violence, deeming it a contradiction to a ruling by the World Court urging Israel to offer more aid to civilians. Health authorities reported that 26,637 Palestinians have perished in the conflict, with numerous more potentially trapped under the debris of demolished structures along the coast.
In contrast, residents noted that Israel recommenced its assault on Gaza’s primary northern city overnight, following a brief withdrawal. Meanwhile, Washington deliberated its response to the initial lethal attack on its forces in the Middle East since the onset of the Gaza war. Discussions on prisoner release in Gaza deemed constructive by John Kirby.
Three US servicemen were killed and at least 34 wounded in a drone strike in Jordan near the Syrian border, which US Central Command promptly attributed to Iran. President Joe Biden attributed the attacks to Iran-backed groups operating in Syria and Iraq.
Although Iran denied involvement, Biden ordered retaliatory strikes on Iranian-backed groups. Simultaneously, the US president refrained from directly targeting Iran to avert a broader conflict, mindful of the ongoing violence disrupting global trade through Red Sea ship attacks. “Rest assured, we will hold all those accountable at a time and in a manner of our choosing,” stated Biden.
Further casualties included two Palestinian journalists, Essam El-lulu and Hussein Attalah, and several of their family members, according to health authorities and the journalist union. “The conflict persists in a more brutal manner,” remarked Gaza resident Mustafa Ibrahim, a Palestinian human rights advocate displaced with his family in Rafah, alongside over a million other Gazans.
In the northern region, residents resorted to grinding animal feed to produce flour due to shortages of flour, rice, and sugar, exacerbating the aid crisis following the withdrawal of support for the UN’s Palestinian refugee aid agency, UNRWA. The US, UK, Canada, and Germany suspended aid to UNRWA, which warned of halting relief efforts without funding reinstatement.
Recognizing the escalating risks of a broader confrontation, Biden and other leaders advocated for a new temporary ceasefire to facilitate the release of Hamas-held prisoners.
Talks initiated by Qatar on Sunday, involving US, Israeli, and Egyptian intelligence chiefs, were described as constructive by Israel, while acknowledging “significant gaps” that persist.
Hamas demanded a guaranteed halt to Israel’s offensive in Gaza and complete withdrawal before releasing over 100 detainees still held in Gaza, out of 253 captured during militants’ attacks on Israeli bases and towns on October 7.