Biden pledges “rock solid, unwavering” support for Israel, says unprecedented terrorist assault by Hamas

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Anjali Sharma

GG News Bureau

WASHINGTON DC, 9th Oct. US President Joe Biden on Sunday has ordered “additional support” for Israel after the attack by Palestinian militant group Hamas, the White House officials said without giving further details.

The White House statement said “The President directed additional support for Israel in the face of this unprecedented terrorist assault by Hamas.”

The senior administration official had said on Saturday that high-level discussions between US and Israeli officials on military aid were already underway.

White House said that Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris were briefed by national security officials on the situation in Israel early Sunday and will continue to receive updates.

White House officials remain in contact with Israelis and “counterparts throughout the region,” the statement added.

Biden earlier pledged “rock solid and unwavering” support for Israel, Washington’s key ally in the Middle East after the surprise attacks by Hamas which killed more than 600 people on the Israeli side.

He expressed support for Israel after unprecedented attacks by Palestinian terrorists against Israeli civilians and soldiers on Saturday.

Hamas terrorists infiltrated into at least 22 Israeli locations, killed civilians and soldiers, and took hostages to Gaza, amid barrages of rocket fire.

Biden said “This is not a moment for any party hostile to Israel to exploit these attacks to seek advantage,” “My administration’s support for Israel’s security is rock-solid and unwavering.”

“We will never fail to have Israel’s back,” he said in a series of posts on X.

“We will make sure that they have the help their citizens need and they can continue to defend themselves,” he said.

Some republicans sought to tie his recent decision to release $6 billion in blocked Iranian funds in exchange for freeing five Americans who had been detained in Iran to Saturday’s complex attack by air, land and sea.

White House pushed back the GOP criticism, noted that the money unfrozen last month in the prisoner swap has yet to be spent by Iran and can only be used for humanitarian needs.

Iran has historically maintained strong ties with both Palestinian Hamas and Hezbollah.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on news show that Hamas wouldn’t be around in the way that it is without the support that it’s received from Iran over the years.”

He acknowledged that “we have not yet seen evidence that Iran directed or was behind this particular attack.”

According to Israelis officials, Biden spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

Biden called the attacks “unconscionable” and pledged his administration would ensure Israel has “what it needs to defend itself.”

“Let me say this as clearly as I can: This is not a moment for any party hostile to Israel to exploit these attacks to seek advantage,” Biden said.

Biden administration officials have been working on brokering a normalization of relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia, the most powerful and wealthy Arab state.

Such a deal has the potential to reshape the region and boost Israel’s standing in historic ways.

Saudi Arabia has said it won’t officially recognize Israel before a resolution to the decades long Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The new conflict added an enormous new roadblock to Biden’s ambitions.

Anthony Blinken said “It’s no surprise that those opposed to the efforts to normalize relations between Saudi Arabia and Israel, and more broadly to normalize Israel’s relations with countries throughout the region and beyond who opposes it? Hezbollah, Hamas, and Iran.”

“So to the extent that this was designed to try to derail the efforts that were being made, that speaks volumes.”

Saudi Arabia’s foreign ministry in a statement did not condemn the Hamas attack, but noted the kingdom’s “repeated warnings of the dangers of the situation as a result of the continued occupation, the deprivation of the Palestinian people of their legitimate rights, and the repetition of systematic provocations against its sanctities.”

Jonathan Schanzer, an analyst at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, said Biden did “a good job” at keeping Israel’s critics, particularly his fellow Democrats, at bay while Netanyahu sought to achieve his military objectives against Hamas during their last major conflict, an 11-day war in 2021. It will likely be tougher this time around.

“There will be mistakes that often happen on the battlefield, no military is perfect. That’s when I think the president will come under fire from his left flank,” Schanzer said.

Former President Donald Trump charged that the U.S. is perceived as being “weak and ineffective” on the global stage under Biden, opening the door to hostility against Israel.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis accused Biden of “policies that have gone easy on Iran” and have “helped to fill their coffers.”

South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott alleged the attack was “the Biden $6 billion ransom payment at work,” a reference to the prisoner deal.

Blinken said that “Some who are advancing this false narrative, they’re either misinformed or they’re misinforming. And either way, it’s wrong.”

He called it “deeply unfortunate that some are playing politics when so many lives have been lost and Israel remains under attack.”

On whether Iran, in anticipation of using the money now held in Qatari banksfor food, medicine, medical supplies and agricultural products, may have diverted other funds to Hamas or other proxies, Blinken said those assets have been available to Tehran, under the law, for humanitarian purposes. But he also said Iran “has unfortunately always used and focused its funds on supporting terrorism, on supporting groups like Hamas.”

US administration officials said the U.S. had warned Iran “through interlocutors” that direct involvement in the Gaza situation would imperil any future initiatives the U.S. might consider with the Islamic Republic, according to a congressional aide familiar with the session in a briefing with Senate Foreign Relations Committee staff on Saturday.

The officials did not elaborate on who the interlocutors were or what future initiatives would be in jeopardy.

Deputy Secretary of State Victoria Nuland and the top U.S. diplomat for the Mideast, Barbara Leaf, both spoke to officials in Lebanon about the situation.

Some Lebanese officials maintain contact with Iran which supports the militant group Hezbollah.

GOP also criticized Biden administration to reverse a Trump-era ban on assistance to the Palestinians, including civilians in Gaza, may have helped fund the operation.

Administration officials rejected such criticism stated their efforts to help Palestinian civilians in Gaza and elsewhere do not involve money that Hamas can use or divert.

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