Biden confirms 14 American deaths, US hostages in Israel; calls Hamas attack ‘pure unadulterated evil’

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WASHINGTON: Condemning the attacks on Israel as “pure unadulterated evil,” US President Joe Biden on Tuesday said the stated purpose of the terrorist organisation Hamas is “to kill Jews.”

Noting that over 1,000 people have died in Israel, including at least 14 American citizens, Biden said people in Israel suffered “pure unadulterated evil” at the “bloody hands of the terrorist organisation Hamas, a group whose stated purpose for being is to kill Jews. This is an act of sheer evil.”

“Parents butchered using their bodies to try to protect their children – stomach-turning reports of babies being killed, entire families slain. Young people massacred while attending a musical festival to celebrate peace,” the US president said.

Biden’s address in the White House came after his third phone call in four days with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. In his remarks, he outlined the US military assistance being sent to help Israel in its fight.

A day ago, in a stern warning to Hamas, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that “though Israel did not start this war” but “will finish it”.

“Israel is at war. We didn’t want this war. It was forced upon us in the most brutal and savage way. But though Israel didn’t start this war, Israel will finish it,” said Netanyahu in an address to Israel.

Meanwhile, Biden also said that security has been beefed up around “centres of Jewish life” in the US.

“We are also taking steps at home, in cities across the United States of America. Police departments have stepped up security around centres of Jewish life,” said Biden adding, that there was “no place for hate in America.”

Saying that the US knows that American citizens are among those being held by Hamas and that he has directed his team to share intelligence and deploy additional experts from across the US government.

“More than 1,000 civilians were slaughtered in Israel. Among them, at least 14 American citizens were killed,” said Biden. In a post on X, Biden said that he along with Vice President Kamala Harris discussed the attack in Israel.

“We connected with Prime Minister Netanyahu to discuss coordination to support Israel, deter hostile actors, and protect innocent people,” his post added.

Since the attack on Saturday, US Secretary of Defence Lloyd J Austin III has been working to make clear that the US unequivocally supports Israel’s right to defend itself. “We’re also making very clear to adversaries or those that might be entertaining entering this conflict to escalate it that they should think twice and not take advantage of the instability,” the official said, according to a statement by the US Department of Defence. (ANI)

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