(RightIsRight.co) – In a complex challenge that could become a disaster, Joe Biden is preparing plans to evacuate hundreds of thousands of Americans from Israel and the Middle East if the US ally’s war against Islamist terrorist groups escalates, according to a report.
The Biden administration is considering a large-scale evacuation of American citizens from the Middle East amid growing tensions in Gaza, say four officials privy to the US government’s contingency planning, quoted by The Washington Post.
The leftist newspaper comments that the situation intensifies as Israeli forces gear up for a possible ground assault against the Palestinian Islamist terrorist group Hamas.
On October 7, Hamas invaded Israel from the Gaza Strip and butchered over 1,400 civilians, including 30 US citizens.
The unnamed officials quoted in the report expressed particular concerns about Americans residing in Israel and Lebanon. However, they emphasized such an extensive evacuation is a worst-case scenario.
Yet, as one official remarked, it “would be irresponsible not to have a plan for everything.”
Despite its overt support for Israel, the administration is becoming increasingly alarmed by the potential for escalation.
There are about 686,000 US citizens estimated to be in Israel and Lebanon combined – about 600,000 in the former and 86,000 in the latter, The Post notes.
Hezbollah, another Islamist terrorist group based in Lebanon and tied to Iran, presents significant concerns, as it could open a two-front war in Israel.
“This has become a real issue. The administration is very, very, very worried that this thing is going to get out of hand,” one official noted.
The report stresses that the Biden administration’s apprehensions also extend beyond these two nations. Protests have ignited across the Arab world, enhancing risks for US staff and citizens.
The recent strife in Gaza has amplified regional resentment towards Israel and its actions against Palestinians.
“We were told for the last 10 years that the Arab world and Muslim world didn’t care about Palestine anymore…Well, Palestine has come back. I don’t think it ever went away,” commented Bruce Riedel from the Brookings Institution.
Experts opine that an evacuation of this magnitude would surpass challenges of previous operations.
“With 600,000 Americans in Israel and threats to other Americans across the region, it’s hard to think of an evacuation that might compare to this in scale, scope and complexity,” said Suzanne Maloney from the Brookings Institution.