HOSTAGES: Is Delta Force Operating in Gaza? | Steve Berman

First, I must be very careful in how some of the things I hear get reported. Not all blogger stories are Matt Drudge breaking the Lewinsky affair; some rumors end up being concocted fantasies, and some are actual disinformation planted by all kinds of propaganda groups.

But let’s look at what we do know. The USS Gerald R. Ford carrier strike group has arrived in the eastern Mediterranean. It includes the carrier, 8 squadrons of air assets, the Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser USS Normandy and four Arleigh Burke class guided missile destroyers. The destroyers alone can carry a combined 360 Tomahawk cruise missiles; the Normandy has 122 cells (2 x 61) of the Mk 41 vertical launch system and can provide a massive anti-aircraft umbrella over a large area, never mind its own formidable attack assets. It’s a huge amount of firepower.

And the second strike group, the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower, deployed from Norfolk last week along with the cruiser USS Philippine Sea and its own Arleigh Burke-class destroyers, headed for the Middle East. In just a few weeks, America has deployed a force greater than 90% of the world’s air forces to protect Israel and threaten any nation that decides to harm her. This frees up Israeli air assets to do what they are doing.

But the ground forces Israel has massed around Gaza are not moving in. This is seemingly on advise of America, which has asked for more time to deal with hostage negotiations, aid for Palestinian civilians and diplomacy to avoid widening the war. Well, that’s what the New York Times is reporting, anyway.

Some of the things I’m hearing are quite different. Last week, when President Biden was in Israel, the White House posted on X/Twitter a photo of the president shaking hands with U.S. troops in Israel. The post was quickly deleted, but not before the identities of the soldiers was established. It’s being reported that the unobscured solider was a member of the elite Delta Force.

One fairly new account purporting to be an “intelligence analyst” posted “The Whitehouse media team shared this picture last night (I added the black boxes) without blurring or censoring the faces of the “Delta Force” (CAG) operator’s faces. They deleted it an hour later after hundreds of thousands had already viewed it. This is a massive failure on the Biden admin.”

I am hearing from some Israeli sources that in fact, Delta Force and the U.S. Navy SEAL teams are already operating inside Gaza. The reason Israeli special forces are not going in, and why timetables for Israeli air strikes are so carefully coordinated is to avoid killing U.S. special operators. Further, I heard that the two U.S. hostages who were reported released by Hamas were actually freed by these special forces, and apparently the release was a cover story.

I don’t know the veracity of these reports, so I am giving them to you with a large grain of salt. However, we do know that Israel, while deferential to U.S. advice, doesn’t normally act on outside orders when it comes to their internal operations against Hamas, Hizbollah, or terrorists. In 2014, Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu ordered his military to go in to Gaza and “mow the lawn” regardless of the same cautions coming from the Obama White House.

The difference this time is that Hamas is holding a few hundred hostages spread around Gaza. The same sources are rumoring that Hamas leaders don’t really know where the hostages are held, and that potentially U.S. special forces have captured some of these leaders.

Now that’s the kind of “negotiation” I would love to see. Can you imagine how humiliating it would be for Hamas to have their leaders paraded out of Gaza onto waiting U.S. ships, to be transferred to the IDF, while many hostages are rescued from certain death? That in itself would dishearten the fighters waiting to kill IDF soldiers inside Gaza.

It would probably result in another spasm of protests in Europe, because it’s unacceptable to many who believe the Palestinian cause is only advanced when Jews die, to have hostages freed and many lives spared.

If Delta Force and the SEALs are operating inside Gaza, that would be a powerful explanation of why Israel is holding back, and why the U.S. is rushing assets to protect Israel’s airspace and threaten Iran if they try something. Israel and Iran have traded threats about wiping each other off the face of the earth, which is actually nothing new. But the prospect of U.S. forces in direct combat with Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) troops worries not just Iran, but Syria, Russia, China and the majority of the world’s powers. Such battles can quickly escalate and draw in everyone.

Nobody wants a wider war—at least nobody sane. In 2014, Netanyahu did hold back about 10 days, and only went into Gaza with a minimal number of troops to clear out tunnels and strike specific launch sites. They got in and got out. This current war is completely different—a total mobilization.

My Israeli friends (not the same ones reporting military rumors) tell me that culture, commerce, and arts have been greatly curtailed in Israel. Performances, concerts, and the like are cancelled, not just for now, but well into 2024. Israel is hunkering down for a long war. Every business has been impacted by the mobilization. Families of deployed soldiers are getting help from companies with offices outside Israel, both Israeli firms and companies with Israeli offices.

El Al’s CEO has been sending regular missives about how the airline is carrying “hundreds of combat soldiers, reservists, medical personnel, and security forces at no cost,” due to donations received from people all over the world (primarily U.S. Jews). The country is on a war footing, and is ready to fight for its very existence.

It seems like it will take a miracle to avoid this fight, after all the death and carnage from 10/7. I do believe in miracles. I believe in Psalm 20. I believe the Lord may be saying, as the Bible records in ancient times in Israel, wait and see the deliverance of God, and the enemy will be given into your hands.

But these are just rumors reported by bloggers right now. And these are prayers that haven’t yet been answered.

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevengberman.

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