The U.S. will provide “unshakeable” support to Israel, ensuring its security and safety, as President Joe Biden said during an address he gave at the White House on Wednesday.
The press briefing was scheduled for the president to speak about new policies that would combat “junk fees” from U.S. companies, but Biden took time at the beginning to talk about the violence that’s unfolding in Israel.
As he said:
“We continue to monitor the situation in Israel very closely. The vice president and I and the bulk of my security team spoke with Prime Minister Netanyahu again this morning. And I’ll be speaking about [the call] this afternoon during my meeting with Jewish-American leaders.”
Since Hamas attacked Israel by surprise over the weekend, more than 2,100 have died and thousands of others have been injured. In addition, Hamas, has tortured, raped and taken hostages hundreds of other people.
On that point, Biden said:
“This attack has brought to the surface the painful memories and scars left by a millennium [of] antisemitism and genocide against the Jewish people. And this moment, we have to be crystal clear. There is no justification for terrorism, no excuse. And the type of terrorism exhibited here is just beyond the pale.”
In response to Hamas’ attack, Israel mobilized about 360,000 reservists, making it the largest in the history of the country. That move was done as Israel is preparing for a potential ground operation into the Gaza Strip.
Thus far, Israel has launched many missile and bombing attacks, but a ground invasion of Gaza would mark a serious escalation of an offensive attack.
“As I said yesterday, my commitment to Israel’s security and the safety of the Jewish people is unshakable. The United States has Israel’s back. And we’re going to be working on this all through the day and beyond.”
In his first remarks following the attacks, Biden didn’t mention Iran at all. Many people believe they could have been directly involved in helping Hamas with the attack, though intelligence reports thus far suggest they were surprised by the attack.
During his remarks on Wednesday, Biden also didn’t mention Iran. That being said, senior Biden administration officials have warned that if evidence is found that proves Iran was directly involved in the attacks, there would be serious consequences – including further sanctions.
Reuters reported that Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei denied that his country was involved in the attacks. However, he gave a televised speech on Tuesday while wearing a Palestinian scarf and said:
“We kiss the hands of those who planned the attack.”
Jake Sullivan, the U.S. national security adviser, said Iran is “complicit” in Hamas’ attack since they have long provided material and financial support to the terrorist group over the years. But, U.S. intelligence officials haven’t been able to draw a direct line of support from Iran to Hamas for this specific attack.