US President Biden vows ‘rock solid’ support for Israel after Hamas attacks


Israel has the right to defend itself and its people, President Joe Biden has said as he vowed his administration’s “rock solid and unwavering” support to the country in response to “terrorist assaults” by Hamas that has left hundreds dead.
Palestinian militant group Hamas launched a wave of rocket attacks on Saturday, killing over 200 people in Israel in the biggest escalation in decades.
Israel has already responded with a wave of air strikes on Gaza, killing more than 230 people, media reports quoted officials as saying.
The United States has launched a major global diplomatic drive to garner support for Israel and take necessary action against Hamas after its attack against Israel took everyone by surprise.
“In the face of these terrorist assaults, Israel has the right to defend itself and its people. Full stop. There’s never a justification for terrorist attacks, and my administration’s support for Israel’s security is rock solid and unwavering,” Biden said on Saturday evening from the White House.
“This is not a moment for any party hostile to Israel to exploit these attacks, to seek advantage. The world is watching,” he said.
Biden said he has been in contact with the King of Jordan and has spoken with members of Congress, besides directing his national security team to engage with their Israeli counterparts to make sure Israel has what it needs.
“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,” he said.
It is also a terrible tragedy on a human level, Biden said, referring to the people who have died in the attack.
The world has seen appalling images. Thousands of rockets in a space of hours raining down on Israeli cities, he said.
Earlier in the day, Biden had several rounds of meetings with his national security team including National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.
“The President received a full briefing on the situation and developments. He directed full engagement with Israeli counterparts and with regional counterparts. Immediately after that call, the President called Prime Minister (Benjamin) Netanyahu. The prime minister on that call made very clear this was an unprecedented day for Israel,” a senior administration official said.