Under the guise of helping to search for hostages and preparing to evacuate their citizens, Western countries, led by the US and France, sent special military forces, considered among their elite, to Israel. There is a debate about whether these forces are participating in some of the Occupation army’s operations or not. Previous experiences, including in Libya during the Arab Spring, confirmed that these forces worked secretly at that time and contributed to the pursuit of Libyan leader, Muammar Gaddafi.
The Pentagon has announced, on many occasions, the deployment of various military forces, starting with warships, including aircraft carriers and destroyers, as well as anti-missile systems, especially the advanced THAAD system, in addition to thousands of soldiers. Among the units are teams from the Delta Forces that specialise in hostage rescue and Marine forces, especially the elite ones, namely the Marine elite forces known as Raiders.
Hints provided by the military website, Galaxia Militar, when collecting various data on this subject from media outlets such as The New York Times and other military websites indicate the presence in Israel of commando teams from various major and mid-sized Western countries.
It is not unlikely that they are present in the Gaza Strip and are fighting alongside the Israeli forces or, at least, providing logistical support and participating in the search for tunnels and the locations of the hostages. Reading the military situation on the ground in the Gaza Strip and Israel indicates a significant Western military presence. The most prominent data includes:
First, Western countries have expressed absolute political support for Israel, including opposition to any ceasefire, and this support cannot be unaccompanied by direct military support, especially since some countries, such as the US, have established an air bridge to transport military equipment, while British Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, arrived with military equipment to Israel.
Second, Western countries have provided Israel with significant military equipment, most notably anti-missile systems, some of which the Israeli army does not have much experience in operating. That is why the Pentagon sent experts to operate the THAAD systems, and the French, Germans and Italians sent experts for the Eurosam system.Third, while the Pentagon has admitted to sending thousands of elite soldiers, there are admissions by Western countries, especially European countries, that they have “reinforced their security and military staff” in their embassies in Tel Aviv in anticipation of the evacuation of their citizens and the search for hostages.
Fourth, experience reveals that when it comes to an issue that concerns the entire West, such as preserving Israel from collapse, the West engages in a military operation. It became clear, years after the fall of Muammar Gaddafi’s regime in Libya, how units and even an entire platoon of French, German and British elite forces contributed to striking the military units that were around Gaddafi, and they were tracking him to facilitate his assassination by the protesters.
While American units step up security of Israeli nuclear facilities, especially the THAAD system, and the field guarding against Hezbollah commando infiltration, European units participate in operating other systems to intercept the missiles of the Palestinians, Hezbollah, the Houthis and Iraqi groups. There are also military units that participate in a discreet manner and are ready to intervene if the situation worsens and the war spreads.
Therefore, it is no longer a matter of “Are Western forces participating in fighting the Palestinians?”, but rather, “What is the size and the type of their contribution?”
Translated from Al Quds Al Arabi, 14 November 2023
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.