President Joe Biden called on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to exercise restraint in response to the recent brutal attack by Palestinian militants. The President’s call for adherence to the “rules of war” follows Netanyahu’s vow to destroy Hamas, the group responsible for the attack.
President Biden, who has demonstrated support for Israel by deploying a US aircraft carrier to the region, also issued a stern warning to Iran, a known backer of Hamas. During an address to a gathering of US Jewish community leaders at the White House, President Biden referred to the recent attacks on Israel as the “deadliest day for Jews since the Holocaust,” which claimed the lives of 1,200 people.
While Israel has responded with airstrikes in Gaza, causing Palestinian officials to report over 1,000 casualties, President Biden revealed that he had a conversation with Netanyahu earlier in the day. In their discussion, the President stressed the importance of Israel operating within the rules of war.
President Biden’s remarks mark the first time he has publicly called for restraint regarding Israel’s response to the Hamas attacks, which he described as “sheer evil.”
Netanyahu, on the other hand, had previously vowed the complete destruction of the militant group, likening its members to the Islamic State.
In addition to addressing Israel, President Biden also had a strong message for Iran, which supports both Hamas and Lebanon’s Hezbollah and has been a long-term adversary of the United States and Israel. The President highlighted the deployment of the USS Gerald R. Ford, the world’s largest aircraft carrier, and its fleet to the region, with another carrier available if necessary, as a clear signal to Iran.
Biden emphasized the need for caution in his message to the Iranian government, stating, “I made it clear to the Iranians. Be careful.”
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken also demonstrated solidarity with Israel by traveling to the region earlier in the day. While there have been growing concerns of a broader regional conflict, US officials stated that they had not seen any intelligence suggesting Iran’s involvement in planning or preparing the Hamas attacks.
Tragically, at least 22 Americans lost their lives in the Hamas attacks, and an unknown number of US citizens were among approximately 150 individuals, including women, children, and the elderly, who were taken hostage by the militants.
The Hamas assault on Israel has raised fears of potential domestic attacks in the United States and heightened concerns about a resurgence of anti-Semitism throughout the country. President Biden reassured the public that US authorities were on high alert.
“In cities across the United States of America, police departments have stepped up security around centers… of Jewish life,” President Biden stated.
Furthermore, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan confirmed that the President would convene with his domestic security advisors later in the week. The move comes after a US shooter was sentenced to death in August for the 2018 massacre of 11 Jewish worshippers at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, marking the deadliest anti-Semitic attack on American soil.