The Biden administration “unequivocally” condemned terrorist organization Hamas on Saturday amid its unprecedented and “appalling” assaults against Israel, with President Biden and senior administration officials stressing that the United States “stands with Israel.”
Israeli officials said at least 250 people have been killed since Hamas terrorists started firing rockets and slaughtering Israelis near the Gaza Strip, making the conflict one of the deadliest attacks in the country’s history. At least 1,500 people have been wounded.
“Today, the people of Israel are under attack, orchestrated by a terrorist organization, Hamas,” President Biden said Saturday. “In this moment of tragedy, I want to say to them and to the world and to terrorists everywhere that the United States stands with Israel.”
He added: “We will not ever fail to have their back.”
Biden said that his administration’s “support for Israel’s security is rock solid and unwavering.”
The president, and senior administration officials, have made “absolutely clear” to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli officials “across the political spectrum and their national security spectrum” that the United States stands “ready to offer all appropriate means of support to the government and people of Israel.”
The president spoke to Netanyahu on Saturday and offered “full support to Israel.” A senior administration official said Biden and Netanyahu will stay in close contact.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin discussed the situation with the Israeli Minister of Defense on Saturday as well, and is offering “full” U.S. military support to Israel.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken also spoke to Israeli President Herzog and the Israeli Foreign Minister, as well as his counterparts including from Turkey, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and Italy.
Biden also spoke with the King of Jordan on Saturday, who he will stay in “regular” contact with.
“The United States stands with Israel. The United States unequivocally condemns the appalling assaults against Israel by Hamas terrorists in Gaza,” a senior administration official said Saturday evening.
“That’s why we have taken action throughout this administration,” the official said, adding that sanctions have been imposed on Iran for its support of Hamas and other terrorist organizations. “That is going to continue—believe me,” the official said. “Hamas is a terrorist group—full stop.”
“What we’ve seen today is really an unprecedented assault, particularly these incursions into Israeli cities and literally murdering people, including families in their homes; taking hostages, including, we believe, children out of their homes—its just unspeakable,” the official continued.
The official added: “We will treat Hamas for what they are—they are an international terrorist organization…This was an attack by Hamas against the state and the people of Israel.”
In a video message early Saturday morning, Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said, “Citizens of Israel, we are at war — not in an operation, not in rounds — at war.”
A senior administration official said the United States will continue to provide Israel with support, including intelligence sharing.
“Israel has a right to defend itself and its people,” the official said, adding that there is “no doubt” that Hamas is “funded, equipped, armed by Iran and others.”