War in Israel: "It's the worst attack I've experienced in 22 years," says Greek living in Tel Aviv

Israel

Anestis Simeonidis, who lives in Tel Aviv, spoke to MEGA TV about the fear and unprecedented situation that he and those in Israel are experiencing after the Hamas attack on Saturday morning.

"There is fear, all colleagues are afraid, things are very difficult, this is the first time we are like this. We hear sirens, rockets fly over the house, but not much in our area because we are far from Gaza," he said initially.

"The supermarkets are also open, but I don't know if the businesses are working. I have a shelter at home. I know the directions because I've been through it 15 times, but this is the worst in the 22 years I've been here. After Hezbollah's attack in 2006, this is the most serious," he added.

Especially about what happens when the sirens sound, and everyone runs to the shelters. He explained that "the instructions are that when we hear the sirens to run to the shelter, which is a room below the house where I live. Mine is a reinforced room. It is on the ground floor of every apartment building."

"Many are thinking about leaving Israel, and I am thinking about it. Today, I have an appointment at the hospital and may decide to go back. Many companies have cancelled flights, mainly Israeli ones," concluded Symeonidis.

Meanwhile, the US has already begun delivering critically needed munitions and military equipment to Israel, the White House said Monday, as the Pentagon reviews its inventories to see what else can be sent quickly to boost its ally in the three-day-old war with Hamas.

John Kirby, a spokesman for the National Security Council, confirmed Monday evening that the first batch of military aid in the wake of the violent assault by Hamas militants is “making its way” to Israel.

The delivery came as President Joe Biden prepared to give formal remarks on the attacks from the White House on Tuesday afternoon after he confirmed that at least 11 Americans were killed in the violence over the weekend.

“We fully expect there will be additional requests for security assistance for Israel as they continue to expend munitions in this fight,” Kirby said. “We will stay in lockstep with them, making sure that we’re filling their needs as best we can and as fast as we can.”

Also on Monday, a senior Defense Department official warned that the US is closely watching Hezbollah and other Iranian-backed groups, noting that the decision to shift American ships in the region was to deter any of these groups from entering or expanding the conflict against Israel.

The official briefed reporters on condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive shipments.

He said the US is “flooding the zone” with calls and other messages so that extremist groups and other nations know they should not question America’s commitment to supporting the defence of Israel.

The official, however, would not comment on whether US military forces would be used at all, and Kirby later emphasised that “there is no intention to put US boots on the ground.”

Kirby said US officials have yet to identify a direct link from the Hamas terrorists who executed this weekend’s deadly attacks to Iran itself, although the country has a “degree of complicity” considering its long support for the group.

While the Pentagon official said the US has the ability to supply weapons to Ukraine and Israel and maintain security for America, the rapid delivery of munitions to the new war has raised concerns.

Army Secretary Christine Wormuth said Congress must pass more funding quickly for the US to be able to give both Israel and Ukraine the weapons and munitions they both now need.

“The intent is to lean forward in support of Israel,” she said. “But in particular with munitions and the ability to support Israel and Ukraine simultaneously, additional funding is needed to increase our capacity to expand production and then also pay for the munitions themselves.”

At the White House, officials were more cautious, emphasizing that the US government has existing funding to support Israel for the time being. But it was becoming clear that the administration is now facing potentially competing requests from Israel and Ukraine for additional weaponry.

“If we need — and it’s an ‘if’, but — if we need to go back to Capitol Hill for additional funding support for Israel, we will absolutely do that,” Kirby said, referring to Israel and Ukraine.

“We are a large enough, big enough, economically viable and vibrant enough country to be able to support both,” he added.

READ MORE: Greek who returned from Israel talks about the terror he experienced - "I walked for 40 minutes in a war zone."

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