U.S. stands 'with Israel, make no mistake,' Joe Biden tells world as Gaza conflict rages

President Joe Biden addressed the nation Tuesday regarding Saturday's Hamas-led attacks in Israel. Photo by Shawn Thew/UPI
1 of 6 | President Joe Biden addressed the nation Tuesday regarding Saturday's Hamas-led attacks in Israel. Photo by Shawn Thew/UPI | License Photo

Oct. 10 (UPI) -- U.S. President Joe Biden called Saturday's attacks by Hamas militants a "violation of every code of human morality" as he addressed the nation on the ongoing conflict between the Palestinian militant group Hamas and the Israeli military Thursday.

Speaking to reporters flanked by Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Vice President Kamala Harris, Biden condemned Saturday's attacks and Hamas.


"There are moments in this life, I mean this literally, when pure unadulterated evil is unleashed on the world," Biden said. "The people of Israel lived through one such moment this weekend. The bloody hands of the terrorist organization Hamas, a group whose stated purpose for being is to kill Jews. This was an act of sheer evil, more than 1,000 civilians slaughtered -- not just killed, slaughtered in Israel."


The president said that "at least 14 Americans" were among the dead.

Biden also said American citizens are being held hostage by Hamas and that U.S. officials are working to get them released.

"We now know that American citizens are among those being held by Hamas. I've directed my team to share intelligence and deploy additional experts from across the United States government to consult with and advise Israeli counterparts on hostage recovery efforts, because, as president, I have no higher priority than the safety of Americans being held hostage around the world," Biden said.

On Saturday, a number of militant groups, spearheaded by Hamas, who govern the Gaza Strip, launched an assault on Israeli military positions and civilian areas, killing soldiers and civilians and taking more than 100 hostages.

At least 900 Israelis were killed in the assault, according to the Israeli military, and at least 830 Palestinians have been killed in the Gaza Strip during attacks by the Israeli military.

The Israeli military has declared "a state of alert for war" and has called up 300,000 reservists as it launches air assaults against Gaza.

At least 187,518 people have been displaced inside Gaza due to the ongoing fighting, according to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.


The Israeli government has urged Palestinians to leave the Gaza Strip but bombed the Rafah border crossing that connects Gaza to Egypt and has threatened to bomb vehicles carrying aid.

Biden said that U.S. military assets had been redeployed across the region.

"The Department of Defense has moved the USS Gerald R. Ford carrier strike group to the eastern Mediterranean and bolstered our fighter aircraft presence and we stand ready to move in additional assets as needed," Biden said.

Biden warned third parties against taking hostile actions in response to the crisis.

"To any country, any organization, anyone thinking of taking advantage of the situation, I have one word, don't, don't. Our heart may be broken but our resolve is clear," Biden continued.

The president said he had spoken with a number of world leaders about the crisis.

"Yesterday I also spoke with the leaders of France, Germany, Italy, and U.K. to discuss the latest developments with our European allies and coordinate our united response," he said.

Biden also said law enforcement has been instructed to protect Jewish community sites in the United States.

"We're also taking steps at home in cities across the United States of American police departments have stepped up security around centers of Jewish life," he said. "The Department of Homeland Security and Federal Bureau of Investigation are working closely with the state and federal law enforcement and Jewish community partners to identify and disrupt any domestic threat that could emerge in connection with these horrific attacks."


Biden said that the United States is "surging" weapons deliveries to Israel.

"We're surging additional military assistance including ammunition and interceptors to replenish Iron Dome. We're going to make sure Israel does not run out of these critical assets to defend its cities and its citizens."

Biden made a reference to the laws of war when recounting his recent discussions with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

"We also discussed how democracies like Israel and the United States are stronger and more secure when we act according to the rule of law. Terrorists purposely target civilians, kill them, we uphold the laws of war, the law of war, it matters, there's a difference," Biden said.

Biden ended his comments by stressing U.S. support for Israel.

"These atrocities have been sickening. We're with Israel, make no mistake," he said.

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