President Biden along with fellow leaders from Western-allied countries expressed their “steadfast and united support” for Israel as the country reels from the wave of terrorist attacks against them by militant group Hamas.
“Today, we — President Macron of France, Chancellor Scholz of Germany, Prime Minister Meloni of Italy, Prime Minister Sunak of the United Kingdom, and President Biden of the United States — express our steadfast and united support to the State of Israel, and our unequivocal condemnation of Hamas and its appalling acts of terrorism,” the leaders said in a joint statement Monday.
Biden was joined by French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni, and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in the statement.
The leaders said that Hamas’s terrorist actions “have no justification, no legitimacy, and must be universally condemned,” noting the recent atrocities the militant group has committed in the past few days.
Hamas, a political group that has been elected to govern Gaza, has been designated by both the United States and European Union as a terrorist group.
“Our countries will support Israel in its efforts to defend itself and its people against such atrocities,” the joint statement added. “We further emphasize that this is not a moment for any party hostile to Israel to exploit these attacks to seek advantage.”
“All of us recognize the legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people, and support equal measures of justice and freedom for Israelis and Palestinians alike,” the leaders said. “But make no mistake: Hamas does not represent those aspirations, and it offers nothing for the Palestinian people other than more terror and bloodshed.”
“Over the coming days, we will remain united and coordinated, together as allies, and as common friends of Israel, to ensure Israel is able to defend itself, and to ultimately set the conditions for a peaceful and integrated Middle East region,” the statement concludes.
The statement comes as Israel launched hundreds of rocket attacks on Gaza in response to the attacks by Hamas, which left at least 800 people in Israel dead. Hamas’s attacks on Israel Saturday included targeted attacks on civilians, such as people who had been attending a music festival.
Israel Defense Forces claimed to have hit more than 1,200 targets in Gaza between Saturday and Monday, noting that it has since “doubled that number.” Those strikes have killed hundreds of people in Gaza.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that forces from his country will exact a “huge price” against Hamas for the attack.
Biden also announced Monday that 11 Americans had been killed in the attacks, and he warned that American citizens are likely to be among those held hostage by Hamas.
Source: The Hill