WASHINGTON - Could the war in Israel draw the United States into a much bigger "world war"? It’s a question on a lot of people’s minds following an unprecedented attack on Israel by the Islamist militant group Hamas that killed hundreds and injured thousands more.
A top Israeli diplomat tells FOX 5 the attack on his country is their "9/11."
"What is happening now in Israel, happened here not too many years ago on 9/11 and it could unfortunately happen anywhere else around the world at any given time if we don’t all know how to fight against terrorism," said Eliav Benjamin, Deputy Head of Mission at the Israeli Embassy.
The Pentagon is sending the Gerald R. Ford aircraft carrier group to the region in response to the attack from Hamas. Military analyst Major Mike Lyons says the U.S. could be pulled into a broader scenario.
"I think you have to be very concerned, and I think we have to be concerned because from a strategic standpoint, the enemy here is the Iranians and they’re the ones funding this military operation for Hamas and they’ve got their fingerprints all over it," said Lyons. "Where it can get nasty is should the Israelis decide to go after Iran and if that happens, is the United States going to get drawn into it? … I think we’ve got to be concerned about that, it’s a real possibility."
Benjamin says Hamas must be defeated now to avoid global escalation.
"I believe the message is getting out very, very clearly and I don’t need to do a lot to persuade people. People are getting this very, very easily, seeing the photos, seeing the footage, hearing the voices, seeing the atrocities that have taken place," said Benjamin.
Here in the District, D.C. police will also have "increased visibility" near places of worship. A police spokesperson says "there are currently no credible threats in the District." Montgomery County and Fairfax County police say they are also increasing their visibility as well.