President Joe Biden condemned the “appalling Hamas terrorist attacks” in Israel Saturday after Gaza militants launched a surprise assault that has so far resulted in a reported 100 people killed and over 1,000 wounded.
“Today, I spoke with @IsraeliPM about the appalling Hamas terrorist attacks in Israel. I offered our support and reiterated my unwavering commitment to Israel’s security,” Biden tweeted. “@FLOTUS and I express our heartfelt condolences to the families who have lost loved ones.”
The surprise and “unprovoked” assault on the 50th anniversary of the onset of the Yom Kippur War began Saturday in areas throughout Israel, with Gaza militants firing thousands of rockets into Israel as well as engaging in a ground attack.
The Israeli Defense Forces launched Operation “Swords of Iron” in response to the attacks, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declaring that the country was “at war.”
“Citizens of Israel, we are at war — not in an operation, not in rounds — at war,” Netanyahu said in a video message to Israelis.
Following the initial wave of violence, militants were still holding Israeli citizens and soldiers hostage, Haaretz reported. “There are hostages and prisoners of war that Hamas took. There are also deaths among IDF soldiers. We don’t have an exact number yet – we are at war,” IDF spokesperson Daniel Hagari said Saturday. “We are engaged in very heavy fighting. Our goal is that all the terrorists who entered Israel will be eliminated, that all the sites will be cleared.”
Israeli forces responded by targeting military facilities and operational headquarters of the Hamas terrorist organization throughout the Gaza Strip; the Palestinian Health Ministry in Gaza said that 198 Palestinians had been killed and 1,610 injured in firefights and air strike.
“The Hamas [terrorist organization] has made a grave mistake this morning and launched a war against the State of Israel. IDF troops are fighting against the enemy at every location,” said Defense Minister Yoav Gallant.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in a statement that the U.S. “unequivocally condemns the appalling attacks by Hamas terrorists against Israel, including civilians and civilian communities.”
“There is never any justification for terrorism,” Blinken continued. “We stand in solidarity with the government and people of Israel, and extend our condolences for the Israeli lives lost in these attacks. We will remain in close contact with our Israeli partners. The United States supports Israel’s right to defend itself.”
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