Joe Biden

Remarks on the Hamas Attacks Against Israel

October 07, 2023

The President. Good afternoon.

Today the people of Israel are under attack, orchestrated by a terrorist organization, Hamas.

In this moment of tragedy, I want to say to them and to the world and to terrorists everywhere that the United States stands with Israel. We will not ever fail to have their back. We'll make sure that they have the help their citizens need and they can continue to defend themselves.

You know, the world's seen appalling images: thousands of rockets in the space of hours raining down on Israeli cities. When I got up this morning and started this at 7:30, 8 o'clock—my calls—Hamas terrorists crossing into Israel killing not only Israeli soldiers, but Israeli civilians in the street, in their homes. Innocent people murdered, wounded, entire families taken hostage by Hamas just days after Israel marked the holiest of days on the Jewish calendar. It's unconscionable.

You know, when I spoke with Prime Minister Netanyahu this morning, I told him the United States stands with the people of Israel in the face of these terrorist assaults. Israel has the right to defend itself and its people. Full stop.

There is never justification for terrorist attacks.

And my administration's support for Israel's security is rock solid and unwavering.

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. The world is watching.

I've also been in contact with the King of Jordan, spoken with Members of Congress, directed my national security team to engage with their Israeli counterparts—military to military, intelligence to intelligence, diplomat to diplomat—to make sure Israel has what it needs.

I've also directed my team to remain in constant contact with leaders throughout the region, including Egypt, Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Oman, the U.A.E., as well as with our European partners and the Palestinian Authority.

This is also a terrible tragedy on a human level. It's hurting innocent people—seeing the lives that have been broken by this, the families torn apart. It's heart breaking.

And Jill and I are praying for those families who have been impacted by this violence. We grieve with those who have lost their loved ones, lost a piece of their soul. We have hope for a swift recovery for many who have been wounded.

But we're going to remain in close touch with Prime Minister—I, personally, am going to remain in close contact with Prime Minister Netanyahu as this situation continues to develop.

And let there be no mistake: The United States stands with the State of Israel, just as we have from the moment the United States became the first nation to recognize Israel, 11 minutes after its founding, 75 years ago.

Thank you very much.

Q. Mr. President, was there an intelligence failure in the lead-up to this attack?

Q. Mr. President, can you tell us what Bibi asked you, specifically, for support?

NOTE: The President spoke at 2:48 p.m. in the State Dining Room at the White House. In his remarks, he referred to King Abdullah II of Jordan.

Joseph R. Biden, Remarks on the Hamas Attacks Against Israel Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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