Biden slams Hamas attack as ‘pure, unadulterated evil,’ reaffirms support for Israel

October 11, 2023

U.S. President Joe Biden on Tuesday denounced the Hamas militant group’s attack on Israel last week as “pure, unadulterated evil” and reiterated America’s pledge to “stand with Israel.”

In a televised address, Biden launched a diatribe against the militant group as its attack on Saturday reignited the conflict with Israel, which has left more than 1,800 people dead, including at least 14 U.S. citizens.

The president stressed that his administration is “surging” additional military assistance, including ammunition and interceptors to replenish Israel’s Iron Dome interception system, so as to ensure the country can defend its cities and citizens.

“There are moments in this life, I mean this literally, when a pure unadulterated evil is unleashed on this world. The people of Israel lived through one such moment this,” Biden said with Vice President Kamala Harris and Secretary of State Antony Blinken standing behind him at the White House.

“This was an act of sheer evil. More than 1,000 civilians just got slaughtered. Among them at least 14 American citizens, he added.

Biden reaffirmed America’s commitment to supporting Israel, a country that has long lived with the threats of such armed attacks.

“We must be crystal clear. We stand with Israel,” he said. “We will make sure Israel has what it needs to take care of its citizens, defend itself and respond to this attack … There’s no justification for terrorism. There’s no excuse.”

The president warned against those who may seek to exploit the conflict to their advantage.

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

Apparently mindful of the political polarization at home, Biden called for national unity over the issue while cautioning against domestic acts of hatred.

“This is not about party or politics. It’s about the security of our world and security of the United States of America,” he said. “There is no place for hate in America, not against Jews, not against Muslims just not against anybody will reject this terrorism.”

Later in a press briefing, National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said that the U.S. believes there are 20 or more Americans that are missing.

“But I want to underscore and stress that does not mean necessarily that there are 20 or more American hostages. Just that is the number who are currently unaccounted for,” he said.

Biden has tasked his aides to engage in contingency planning for all escalation scenarios, Sullivan said.

“We are now deeply engaged in that planning. And we are consulting with allies and partners as well about all of the potential scenarios that might unfold in the days ahead,” he said.

Asked if Iran had any role in the attack, Sullivan said Iran is “complicit in this attack in a broad sense” though he does not have confirmation of Iran’s direct role in the attack.

“They (Iranians) have provided the lion’s share of the funding for the military wing of Hamas. They have provided training, capabilities and support, and they have had engagement in contact with Hamas over the years and years,” he said. “And all of that has played a role in contributing to what we have seen now.”