Washington DC/ October 08, 2023 (SPN) | President Joe Biden on Saturday strongly condemned the “unconscionable” assault carried out by Hamas militants. He has reassured unwavering support for Israel to defend itself following a surprise attack that has drawn worldwide condemnation and stirred anger among Israel’s allies.
From the White House, President Biden emphatically stated that the United States “stands with the people of Israel in the face of these terrorist assaults.” He stressed that Israel has the unequivocal right to defend itself and its citizens. He also issued a warning to Israel’s adversaries, cautioning them against exploiting the situation for their advantage, asserting that “the world is watching.”
Furthermore, President Biden pledged to maintain close communication with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and disclosed that he had discussions with Jordan’s King Abdullah II and members of Congress to address the situation.
Meanwhile, Secretary of State Antony Blinken held meetings at the White House and engaged with Israel’s president and foreign minister. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin also had discussions with Israel’s defense minister. Both officials reaffirmed the United States’ commitment to assisting Israel in safeguarding civilians and addressing its defense requirements.
The incursion by Hamas, which was unprecedented, occurred shortly after Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar. It resulted in the deadliest attack in Israel in years and heightened the risk of a broader conflict. In response, Israel launched airstrikes in Gaza.
President Biden characterized the situation as an “attack orchestrated by a terrorist organization” and expressed steadfast support for Israel’s security. He unequivocally condemned the indiscriminate violence and acts of terrorism.
The ongoing hostilities have dealt a significant blow to U.S. efforts to expand the Arab-Israeli Abraham Accords normalization agreements. This impact has been felt not only in Saudi Arabia but also in smaller Arab states. U.S. officials acknowledge that progress is unlikely while the conflict continues.
Although Secretary Blinken had planned a trip to the Middle East, including stops in Israel and Saudi Arabia, later in the month, those plans have been put on hold. In the short term, the United States aims to collaborate with regional Arab partners to de-escalate the situation.
Leaders from around the world have echoed President Biden’s support for Israel and its right to self-defense while also condemning the attacks by Hamas. European Commission President Ursula Von Der Leyen labeled the violence as “purely terrorism.” German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and other world leaders have expressed solidarity with Israel.
Saudi Arabia has called for an immediate cessation of the fighting, urging both parties to protect civilians and exercise restraint.