WASHINGTON—President Joe Biden on Saturday spoke from the White House about the terrorist attacks in Israel.
“Today the people of Israel are under attack orchestrated by a terrorist organization, Hamas. 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,” President Biden said.
“Israel has the right to defend itself and its people, full stop,” he added.
President Biden also promised that the United States would provide all the assistance that Israelis need so that they could continue to defend themselves.
Israel declared a state of war on Saturday after terrorists infiltrated Israeli borders, attacking homes and civilians, and Hamas claimed responsibility for launching thousands of rockets from the Gaza Strip into Israeli territory, in an unprecedented, unprovoked surprise attack.
The president also announced that he spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and conveyed that the United States “stands with the people of Israel in the face of these terrorist assaults.”
President Biden also warned that this is not the time for any anti-Israeli country to take advantage of the attacks. “The world is watching.”
He didn’t respond when asked if there was an intelligence failure in the lead-up to the attack.
Earlier, former President Donald Trump in a statement blamed President Biden for the attacks.
“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,” he wrote in a statement. “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.”
Hamas is among the terrorist groups receiving support from Iran. According to a U.S. State Department report in 2020, Iran had provided up to $100 million annually in total support to these groups, including Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
The White House National Security Council spokesperson responded to Republicans who have criticized President Biden’s decision to release $6 billion in frozen Iran funds ahead of the attack.
“Not a single cent from these funds has been spent, and when it is spent, it can only be spent on things like food and medicine for the Iranian people,” said Adrienne Watson, the spokesperson.
“These funds have absolutely nothing to do with the horrific attacks today and this is not the time to spread disinformation.”
She also stated that national security adviser Jake Sullivan has spoken to his Israeli counterpart Tzachi Hanegbi, and the NSC team stays in close contact with their Israeli counterparts.
President Biden said he has been in contact with the king of Jordan and spoke with members of Congress.
“I’ve also directed my team to remain in constant contact with leaders throughout the region, including Egypt, Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Oman, the UAE, as well as our European partners and the Palestinian Authority.”
The last time President Biden and Mr. Netanyahu met was on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Sept. 20. It was the first time both leaders met after the Israeli leader returned to office late last year.
They discussed a range of bilateral and regional issues, including the normalization of relations with Riyadh, during that meeting. The meeting came amid frosty relations with the Israeli leader.
In March, President Biden said he wouldn’t invite Mr. Netanyahu to the White House in the near term because of Mr. Netanyahu’s attempt to change Israel’s judiciary system.
However, during the bilateral meeting in New York, President Biden expressed his hope for the success of efforts to normalize relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia, noting that such an idea would have been impossible a decade ago.
Three years ago, Israel normalized ties with the UAE, Bahrain, Morocco, and Sudan in what is known as the Abraham Accords.
From The Epoch Times