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US did not provide military assistance in operation to rescue Israeli hostages: Official

US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said American forces did not assist Israel in its operation to rescue four Israeli hostages, claiming that only intelligence support was provided.

“The US has been providing support to Israel for several months in its efforts to help identify the locations of hostages in Gaza and to support efforts to try to secure their rescue or recovery,” Sullivan said in an interview with host Dana Bash on CNN’s State of the Union program that aired Sunday morning.

He declined to answer how the US helped specifically due to security reasons.

“I can only just say that we have generally provided support to the IDF so that we can try to get all of the hostages home, including the American hostages who are still being held,” Sullivan told Bash.

“One thing I can say is that there were no US forces, no US boots on the ground involved in this operation. We did not participate militarily in this operation,” he said.

Pressed by Bash on whether the US was comfortable with how the mission was carried out, Sullivan called for a diplomatic solution “where there’s no need for military operations to get every last hostage out.”

On Saturday, the Israeli army freed four hostages during a military operation in the Nuseirat refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip.

The operation coincided with the killing of more than 274 Palestinians and the injury of 700 others in a bombardment of the camp.

Israel has continued its brutal offensive on Gaza since an Oct. 7 attack by the Palestinian group Hamas, despite a UN Security Council resolution demanding an immediate cease-fire.

More than 37,000 Palestinians have since been killed in Gaza, most of them women and children, and nearly 84,500 others injured, according to local health authorities.

Eight months into the Israeli war, vast tracts of Gaza lay in ruins amid a crippling blockade of food, clean water and medicine.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice, whose latest ruling ordered Tel Aviv to immediately halt its operation in the southern city of Rafah, where over a million Palestinians had sought refuge from the war before it was invaded on May 6.

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