US positions ships for ‘remote’ possibility of evacuation

WASHINGTON (JTA) — The United States positioned three warships in the eastern Mediterranean, reportedly to evacuate Americans in the “remote’ possibility the Israel-Gaza conflict requires it.

CNN reported Monday that the 2,500 Marines on board the  USS Iwo Jima, the USS New York and the USS Gunston Hall had been scheduled to return to Norfolk, Va. for Thanksgiving, but are now on standby near Israel.

The online report posted Monday quoted two officials as saying that such a contingency was still seen as “extremely remote.”

The officials said that the ships would not be used in combat.

Israel launched air strikes on Gaza on nnov. 14 after an intensification of rocket fire from the strip. It has since called up reserves and is considering a ground offensive pending the outcome of truce talks in Cairo.

Click here for updates on the Jewish vote, Jewish candidates and other election news.

Click to write a letter to the editor.