Biden condemns ‘appaling Hamas terrorist attacks’ and says US support for Israel is ‘rock solid’

Joe Biden spoke with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday and condemned the “appalling Hamas terrorist attacks” against the US ally, following an assault on the country from Palestinian militants from Gaza.

“The United States unequivocally condemns this appalling assault against Israel by Hamas terrorists from Gaza, and I made clear to Prime Minister Netanyahu that we stand ready to offer all appropriate means of support to the Government and people of Israel,” President Biden said in a White House statement on Saturday morning. “Terrorism is never justified. Israel has a right to defend itself and its people.”

In a surprise attack early on Saturday, Hamas militants entered several Israeli towns and military bases, kidnapping civilians and soldiers as hostages.

Hamas military commander Mohammed Deif said in rare public statement 5,000 rockets had been fired into Israel to begin what it called “Operation Al-Aqsa Storm.”

Fellow US officials joined in their condemnation of the Hamas offensive.

“We stand in solidarity with the government and people of Israel, and extend our condolences for the Israeli lives lost in these attacks,” US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement on Saturday. “We will remain in close contact with our Israeli partners. The United States supports Israel’s right to defend itself.”

World leaders also spoke out against the attack and called for fighting to end.

“My condolences go out to everyone who lost relatives or close ones in the terrorist attack. We have faith that order will be restored and terrorists will be defeated,” Volodymyr Zelesnky wrote on X. “Terror should have no place in the world, because it is always a crime, not just against a specific country or this terror’s victims, but against humanity in general and our entire world.”

The Russian foreign ministry said it is in contact with Israel, Palestine, and Arab nations, and called for a cease fire.

At least 70 Israelis and 198 Palestinians have died in fighting, according to officials in the respective countries.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated with new information.

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