The president of the United States, Joe Biden, promised this Tuesday that his country will give Israel everything it needs to defend itself in response to the attack carried out on Saturday by the Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas), which caused escalating violence with hundreds of dead on both sides.
Specifically, he explained that his country has already sent ammunition and components it needs to the area for the Iron Dome air defense system, which Israel uses these days against missiles launched from the Gaza Strip. In addition, the US has strengthened its military presence in the region by deploying combat aircraft, including sophisticated F-35 and F-15, and sending a group of aircraft carriers and destroyers to the Eastern Mediterranean, including the USS Normandy, which has anti-aircraft, anti-surface, and anti-submarine missiles.
“An act of pure evil”
“We must be very clear: we stand with Israel,” the president said in a speech from the White House. “We will make sure that Israel has what it needs to take care of its citizens and protect itself to respond to this attack. There is no justification for terrorism. There is no excuse,” he said.
“Women were raped, assaulted, displayed as trophies. Families hid in terror for hours and hours, desperately trying to silence their children so as not to attract attention. “It was an act of pure evil,” he said, adding that “Hamas does not defend the right of the Palestinian people to dignity and self-determination. Their stated goal in relation to the state of Israel is to kill the Jews. They use Palestinian civilians as human shields.
Before the speech, the president spoke with the Prime Minister of Israel, Benjamin Netanyahu, to whom he announced that the US response was “quick, decisive, and overwhelming” and to whom he reiterated that democracies like his country and Israel are safer if they act in accordance with the rule of law.
So far, the White House has confirmed that 11 US citizens have died as a result of the attack, but Biden raised the number to 14 in his latest speech. He also confirmed that there are citizens of the country among those kidnapped by Hamas. “I have directed my team to share intelligence and make experts from across the United States government available to Israeli authorities to assist in the recovery and rescue of the hostages,” Biden announced in a speech from the White House.
Earlier, National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said that Hamas’s threat to kill the hostages kidnapped during the Israeli attack should be taken seriously. “You can’t take a threat like that lightly, because of the barbarity that Hamas has already shown it’s capable of,” he said in an interview with CNN.
On Monday, the Islamist group threatened to kill the hostages whenever Israel launched an attack on a civilian target in Gaza without warning. On the same day, Kirby specified that Washington has “no intention” of deploying US troops on the ground in the conflict between Israel and Hamas.
The United States’ decision to increase military support for Israel will not affect Washington’s ability to continue arming Ukraine, its ambassador to NATO, Julianne Smith, assured on Tuesday. “As for whether support for Israel can come at the cost of support for Ukraine, we don’t expect any major obstacles in that regard,” he told reporters. “I think the United States can remain focused on our partnership and commitment to Israel’s security, while at the same time honoring our commitments and pledging to continue supporting Ukraine,” he said.