US President Joe Biden addresses the terrorist attacks in Israel from the State Dining Room of the White House in Washington, DC, on October 7, 2023.
Jim Watson | AFP | Getty Images
President Joe Biden on Saturday detailed a phone call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in which he expressed support for Israel after the deadly attack by Palestinian Islamist group Hamas.
“I made clear to Prime Minister Netanyahu that we stand ready to offer all appropriate means of support to the Government and people of Israel. Terrorism is never justified. Israel has a right to defend itself and its people,” Biden said in a statement.
Later on Saturday, Biden held a public briefing to double down on his support for Israel, noting that he had been taking calls around the situation since around 7:30 a.m. ET. He said he has been in touch with Congress members, the U.S. national security team, the military, diplomats and more “to make sure that Israel has what it needs.”
“The United States stands with Israel. We will not ever fail to have their back,” Biden said.
The president did not take questions at the briefing.
Biden’s support comes after Netanyahu declared his country “at war,” following the early morning surprise attack from the Palestinian militants, escalating a longtime conflict in the region. Magen David Adom, Israel’s emergency services organization, said that so far about 70 people have been killed in Israel with hundreds more injured.
Israel’s counterattack against Gaza killed roughly 200 Palestinians, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.
Biden added that his administration’s support of Israel is “rock solid and unwavering” and that he will keep “in close touch” with Netanyahu as the situation develops.
The Prime Minister’s Office said that in the phone call with Biden, Netanyahu “made it clear that a forceful, prolonged campaign – which Israel will win – is necessary.”
Biden joins other world leaders in his stance of solidarity.
According to Netanyahu’s office, the Prime Minister also spoke with French President Emmanuel Macron and Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte on Saturday, both of whom “expressed full support for Israel’s right to defend itself.”
The Council of the European Union also issued a statement of support for Israel and called for “lasting and sustainable peace” in the region.
In a separate statement, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken also condemned the attacks and voiced support for Israel.
“We unequivocally condemn the appalling attacks by Hamas terrorists against Israel,” Blinken wrote in a post on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter. “We stand in solidarity with the government and people of Israel and extend our condolences for the Israeli lives lost in these attacks.”