Palestinians in Gaza protest along border crossing with Israel in demonstrations coinciding with the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem on May 1
The US military sent additional navy to protect US embassies after the Trump administration formalized Monday its controversial decision to move the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
Marine Capt. Ryan Alvis, a service language woman, said that the service would not reveal the number of additional navalists who use or where they go but said that the reinforcements had been requested. Embassy reinforcements are demanded by the State Department sometimes when diplomatic facilities are considered to be exposed to an increased threat of violence.
The deployment comes as Israeli troops opened fire next to a border crossing between Israel and the Gaza Strip, killing at least 52 Palestinians and injuring 2,400 others, according to Gaza's Ministry of Health. It marked the bloodiest day in Gaza since a seven-week Israeli operation against Hamas, which controls the territory, summer 2014 after the abduction and killing of three Israeli teenagers by the militant group.
Alvis said the navy members are members of the Marine Security Guard Security Unit (MSAU), headquartered in Quantico, Va., And created in response to the fatal attacks on US diplomatic and intelligence services in Benghazi, Libya. In 2012, navalists who belonged to the unit acted as embassy security guards and usually set off for about 45 days at a time, according to an information campaign from Marine Corps.
The Marines also maintain Security Security Teams (FAST) who work in crisis in embassies to reinforce them. Reinforcement groups are usually deployed before a situation has swamped into a crisis.
The government department has issued several security warnings in the region in recent days, and last week the US government officials banned from traveling to Golan Heights, part of Syria occupied by Israel.
Loveday Morris contributed to this report.