The United States Navy has sent three amphibious warships to the eastern Mediterranean in case they are needed to evacuate Americans from Israel.
“This is due diligence. It is better to be prepared should there be a need,” an American official said as the Israel-Gaza conflict continued on Monday.
The ships would be used only for aiding Americans and would not have a combat role, CNN reported.
The three ships — the USS Iwo Jima, USS New York, and USS Gunston Hall — had been scheduled to return to Norfolk, Va., after Thanksgiving. They were west of Gibraltar last week before the decision was made to turn them around and send them to the eastern Mediterranean.
The U.S. military deploys three or four ships off the coast of Israel capable of shooting down ballistic missiles.
News of the redeployment of the amphibious ships comes as Hamas continues it rocket barrage against Israel and Israel targets sites in the Gaza Strip.
In another ominous sign, the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, spooked by rocket attacks, has moved nearly 200 works into a rocket-proof safe the size of an auditorium, The Associated Press reported.
The Ashdod Art Museum-Monart Center in Israel has also taken down artworks and stashed them in a vault designed to withstand rocket fire.
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