Inicio US News ‘This is terrorism’: Biden confirms that the United States has hostages; 14...

‘This is terrorism’: Biden confirms that the United States has hostages; 14 Americans killed by Hamas – News21USA


WASHINGTON (News21USA) – President Joe Biden said the United States stands with Israel following the brutal Hamas massacre in Israel, condemned the «pure, unadulterated evil» of the attack and pledged to support Israel with aid as war rages in the Middle East.

«Right now, we must be very clear: We support Israel,» Biden said in remarks from the State Dining Room of the White House. «We will ensure that 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 is no excuse.»

In the deadliest attack on Israel in decades, more than 1,000 Israelis and at least 14 Americans were killed when Hamas militants stormed the Israeli border along the Gaza Strip and launched a surprise invasion. Israel responded with attacks on Gaza that escalated with more bombings on Tuesday.

An estimated 100 to 150 people in Israel were kidnapped by Hamas militants and are being held captive in Gaza. That includes some Americans. Hamas leaders have warned they will execute hostages if Israel does not cease airstrikes on Gaza without warning.

«There are times in this life when pure, unadulterated evil is unleashed into this world,» Biden said. «The people of Israel experienced one of those moments this weekend.»

Biden said he called on Congress to take «urgent action to fund the national security needs of our critical partners.»

On Tuesday morning, Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu about «coordinated efforts with partners and allies» to defend Israel, the White House said.

Is the war between Israel and Hamas a test for President Biden?

The attack is another major foreign policy test for Biden, who is already struggling to keep aid flowing to Ukraine.

It jeopardizes the administration’s efforts to help Israel and Saudi Arabia formalize relations, one of the ways Biden hoped he would stabilize the Middle East and focus attention on the growing challenge from China.

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And Republicans are trying to shift some of the blame for the attacks on the administration, pointing to a recent deal to release Americans detained in Iran that gave Iran access to $6 billion in frozen funds. Iran has long supported Hammas.

The administration has responded that the money, which has not yet been released, can only be spent for humanitarian purposes.

What is Hamas?

Hamas was founded in 1987 during the first Palestinian uprising against the Israeli occupation of Gaza and the West Bank. Hamas is the acronym for Harakat al-Muqawama al-Islamiya, or Islamic resistance movement. The group’s charter calls for the establishment of an Islamic Palestinian state to replace the current State of Israel.

The political wing of Hamas was born in later years. Hamas’s political wing has controlled Gaza since it won the 2006 election, prompting Israel to impose a blockade on Gaza.

It was founded by a Palestinian activist linked to the Muslim Brotherhood, a transnational Islamist organization with ties to Egypt. Iran provides Hamas with financial, material and logistical support and also cooperates with Hezbollah, another US-designated and Iranian-backed terrorist group based in Lebanon.

Is Hamas a terrorist organization?

The militant organization is committed to the destruction of Israel and has been designated a terrorist group by the United States, the EU and several nations.

The group has vowed to annihilate Israel and has been responsible for many suicide bombings and other deadly attacks against Israeli civilians and soldiers.

Over the years, Hamas received support from Arab countries such as Qatar and Turkey. Recently, it has become closer to Iran and its allies.

Why did Hamas attack Israel?

Hamas has said it attacked Israel in response to growing Palestinian suffering under the Israeli occupation and the 16-year blockade of Gaza by Israel and Egypt that has decimated Gaza’s economy.

Israel has made peace deals with Arab countries in recent years, but has made no concessions in its long conflict with the Palestinians. The United States has tried to reach a deal between Israel and Saudi Arabia, a bitter rival of Hamas’s Iranian supporters.

Meanwhile, Israel’s new far-right government was working to consolidate Israeli settlements in the West Bank despite Palestinian opposition.

Hamas leaders say the Israeli crackdown on militants in the West Bank, continued settlement construction (which the international community has deemed illegal), thousands of prisoners in Israeli jails and its ongoing blockade of Gaza pushed it to attack.

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How did the attack develop?

Hamas’ surprise attack by sea, land and air resulted in the largest one-day massacre of Jews since the Holocaust.

The attack began with thousands of rockets fired from inside the Gaza Strip toward Israel early Saturday. About an hour later, Hamas gunmen crossed the Israeli border at different locations and began attacking residential areas and military bases.

Hamas militants killed about 260 people at the Supernova music festival in a section of open desert near Kibbutz Re’im, about 2 miles from the Gaza border. An unknown number were taken hostage.

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