Washington: US President Joe Biden on Saturday vowed to stand with Israel and expressed readiness to offer all appropriate means of support to the Jewish nation.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel is “at war” after Hamas militants launched a surprise attack on Saturday, firing thousands of rockets and entering Israel by land, sea and air using paragliders. At least 100 people were killed in Israel in the attacks.
“The United States unequivocally condemns this appalling assault against Israel by Hamas terrorists from Gaza, and I made clear to Prime Minister (Benjamin) Netanyahu that we stand ready to offer all appropriate means of support to the Government and people of Israel,” said President Biden, who is personally monitoring the situation and spoke with Netanyahu on the horrific and ongoing attacks in Israel.
US-designated Foreign Terrorist Organisation Hamas launched thousands of rockets from Gaza and sent fighters into Israel, infiltrating multiple communities on vehicles.
Press reports on the number of Israelis dead said more than 100 were killed in the attack that also came one day after Israelis marked the 50th anniversary of the start of the Yom Kippur War.
Senior national security officials briefed the president this morning on the appalling Hamas terrorist attacks in Israel.
The president will continue to receive updates and White House officials remain in close contact with Israeli partners, the White House said.
“Terrorism is never justified. Israel has a right to defend itself and its people. The United States warns against any other party hostile to Israel seeking advantage in this situation. My Administration’s support for Israel’s security is rock solid and unwavering,” Biden said.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said the US unequivocally condemns the appalling attacks by Hamas terrorists against Israel, including civilians and civilian communities.
“There is never any justification for terrorism. We stand in solidarity with the government and people of Israel and extend our condolences for the Israeli lives lost in these attacks. We will remain in close contact with our Israeli partners. The United States supports Israel’s right to defend itself,” Blinken said.
Closely monitoring developments in Israel, US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said America’s commitment to Israel’s right to defend itself remains unwavering.
“Over the coming days the Department of Defence will work to ensure that Israel has what it needs to defend itself and protect civilians from indiscriminate violence and terrorism,” he said.
Cutting across party lines the United States stood united with Israel in this hour of crisis.
“These Hamas attacks are a disgrace and Israel has every right to defend itself with overwhelming force. Sadly, American taxpayer dollars helped fund these attacks, which many reports are saying came from the Biden Administration,” former president Donald Trump said.
“We brought so much peace to the Middle East through the Abraham Accords, only to see Biden whittle it away at a far more rapid pace than anyone thought possible. Here we go again,” he said.
Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley said Hamas has declared war on Israel on the Jewish holiday of Shemini Atzeret and the 50th anniversary of the Yom Kippur War.
“Make no mistake: Hamas is a bloodthirsty terrorist organisation backed by Iran and determined to kill as many innocent lives as possible. The reports out of Israel are horrific with a stunning number of dead and wounded and should be universally condemned,” Haley said.
“Israel has every right to defend its citizens from terror. We must always stand with Israel and against this Iranian regime,” she said.
Former Vice President Mike Pence said every American should condemn the unprovoked and massive attack on Israel by terrorists in Hamas. “Our prayers are with the families and soldiers of our most cherished ally. Prime Minister Netanyahu says Israel is ‘at war.’,” he said.
“This is what happens when America’s president projects weakness on the world stage, kowtows to the mullahs in Iran with a USD 6 billion ransom, and leaders in the Republican Party signal American retreat as Leader of the Free World. Weakness arouses Evil,” Pence said.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said the terrorist attacks by Hamas on the people of Israel are absolutely horrific. “The United States stands with Israel in its unwavering right to defend itself. I stand ready to ensure Israel has the support to do so. My prayers are with the dead and those taken hostage, their families, and the hundreds injured,” he said.