President Joe Biden said that there is "no justification for terrorism" in his address to the nation Tuesday, pledging humanitarian and military aid to Israel in the wake of Hamas' attacks over the weekend.
"There are moments in this life when pure, unadulterated evil is unleashed on this world. People of Israel lived through one such moment this weekend," he said in an address to the nation Tuesday.
Israel vowed to take "mighty revenge" after Hamas attacks over the weekend killed 900 people — most civilians. The Israeli military said on Monday that it was imposing a total blockade of the Gaza Strip, as well as calling up over 360,000 reservists. The move signaled that a ground assault may be planned in retaliation.
Since the attacks Saturday, Israel has targeted the Gaza Strip with air strikes, which have been reported to be the most devastating bombings throughout 75 years of conflict. Nearly 700 Palestinians have been killed, according to Gaza officials, with entire districts in the area flattened. Hamas has threatened to kill an Israeli hostage every time Israel bombs a Palestinian home without warning.
Biden called the attack an "act of sheer evil," noting that over 1,000 civilians have been "slaughtered," including 14 Americans. He added that Hamas threatening to execute prisoners is "in violation of every code of human morality."
The President also said that there are United States citizens currently being held hostage, and that he is sending experts to Israel to assist in negotiations. He also committed to replenishing the iron dome and other armaments to make sure "Israel does not run out of these critical assets."
"This is terrorism. But sadly, for the Jewish people, it's not new," Biden continued. "This attack has brought to the surface painful memories, the scar of a millennia of anti-Semitism and genocide of the Jewish people. So in this moment, we must be crystal clear: We stand with Israel. And we will make sure Israel has what it needs to take care of its citizens."
Israel has been accused of "war crimes" in their response to Hamas violence by United Nations officials, and White House officials have said they are "not urging restraint right now" in Israel's retaliation, which has killed hundreds of Palestinian civilians.
Biden did not directly address the claims, but insisted that Israel, like the United States, "uphold the laws of war" and that only "terrorists purposely target civilians and kill them."
The President said that there is "no justification for terrorism." However, he stated that Hamas "does not stand for the Palestinian people's right to dignity and self-determination."
The President concluded his message with a plea to Americans, urging them not to let hatred against any group stand as events unfold overseas.
"There is no place for hate in America," he said. "Not against Jews, not against Muslims, not against anybody."
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