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US CENTCOM Commander visited Israel during Nuseirat camp massacre

June 12, 2024 at 11:47 am

(L to R) Michael Erik Kurilla, head of the United States Central Command (CENTCOM), Israeli Army Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi, and US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley on September 15, 2022 [JACK GUEZ/AFP via Getty Images]

The commander of US Central Command (CENTCOM), General Erik Kurilla, visited Israel over the weekend at the invitation of Israeli Chief of Staff General Herzi Halevi, the Israeli military announced on Tuesday. The visit coincided with Israel’s gruesome massacre of at least 275 Palestinians and the wounding of 689 others in the Nuseirat refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip on Saturday during an operation to rescue four hostages.

“Kurilla and Halevi held an operational situation assessment, discussed recent regional challenges and the strengthening of the strategic partnership against the Iranian threat,” said Israeli occupation army spokesman Avichai Adraee said on X on Tuesday. “They also discussed developments in the war against Hamas [sic] in the Gaza Strip and ongoing Hezbollah attacks from Lebanon.”

The occupation army did not elaborate on the programme of Kurilla’s visit.

Meanwhile, the military wing of Hamas, Al-Qassam Brigades, announced that the Israeli bombing of Nuseirat had also killed three Israeli prisoners.

Amid allegations of direct US involvement in the assault on Nuseirat — a survivor claims to have seen US Rangers — Washington and Tel Aviv have denied reports of using the US built “humanitarian” pier to facilitate the massacre in the camp.

However, according to eyewitness accounts and a video shared across Israeli Telegram channels, the operation was launched from the US-built pier and included the use of an aid delivery truck to hide Israeli commandos as they infiltrated the overcrowded camp.

Over 38,000 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza and 85,000 others have been wounded, since Israel started its genocidal war against the besieged enclave. An estimated 10,000 Palestinians remain missing, presumed dead, under the rubble of their homes destroyed by Israeli forces.

READ: ‘Immense’ Gaza death toll is crime against humanity, UN inquiry says