ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 142

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Biden warns any who may think to join attack on Israel: ‘I have one word: Don’t’

Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US bureau chief

US President Biden continues his address:

“We will make sure Israel has what it needs to take care of its citizens, defend itself and respond to this attack.

“There is no justification for terrorism. There’s no excuse.

“Hamas does not stand for the Palestinian people’s right to dignity and self-determination. Its stated purpose is the annihilation of the State of Israel and the murder of Jewish people. They use Palestinian civilians as human shields. Hamas offers nothing but terror and bloodshed with no regard to who pays the price.

“The loss of innocent life is heartbreaking.

“Like every nation in the world, Israel has the right to respond, and indeed has a duty to respond, to these vicious attacks.

“I just got off the phone with a third call with Prime Minister Netanyahu. I told him the United States’… response to be swift, decisive and overwhelming. 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 law of war. It matters there’s a difference.

“Today, Americans across the country are praying for all those families that have been ripped apart. A lot of us know how it feels. It leaves a black hole in your chest when you lose family. A feeling like you’re being sucked in. The anger, the pain, the sense of hopelessness. This is what they mean by a human tragedy. An atrocity on an appalling scale.

“We’re going to continue to stand united, supporting the people of Israel who are suffering unspeakable losses, and opposing the hatred and the violence of terrorism.

“My team has been in near-constant communication with our Israeli partners, partners all across the region and the world, from the moment this crisis began.

“We’re surging additional military assistance, including ammunition and interceptors to replenish Iron Dome.”

“We’re going to make sure that Israel does not run out of these critical assets to defend its cities and its citizens.”

“My administration has consulted closely with Congress throughout this crisis. And when Congress returns, we’re going to ask them to take urgent action to fund the national security requirements of our critical partners. This is not about party or politics. This is about the security of our world. The security of the United States of America.

“We now know that American citizens are among those being held by Hamas.

“I’m directing my team to share intelligence and deploy additional experts across the United States government to consult with and advise Israeli counterparts in hostage recovery efforts. Because as president I have no higher priority than the safety of Americans being held hostage around the world.

“The United States has also enhanced our military force posture in the region, to strengthen our deterrence. The Department of Defense has moved the USS Gerald R Ford carrier strike crew to the Eastern Mediterranean and bolstered our fighter aircraft presence. And we stand ready to move in additional assets as needed.

“Let me say again, to any country, any organization, anyone thinking of taking advantage of this situation, I have one word: Don’t. Don’t.”

“Our hearts may be broken but our resolve is clear.”

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