Biden speaks with Netanyahu, says US is ready to offer ‘all appropriate means of support’ to Israel

President Biden affirmed U.S. support for Israel in a phone call with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Saturday, the White House announced.

The Palestinian militant group Hamas launched the largest attack on Israel in decades early Saturday, invading multiple Israeli towns from Gaza and launching missiles into the country.

“This morning, I spoke with Prime Minister Netanyahu about the horrific and ongoing attacks in Israel,” Biden said in a statement. “The United States unequivocally condemns this appalling assault against Israel by Hamas terrorists from Gaza, and I made clear to Prime Minister Netanyahu that we stand ready to offer all appropriate means of support to the Government and people of Israel.” 

“Terrorism is never justified. Israel has a right to defend itself and its people. The United States warns against any other party hostile to Israel seeking advantage in this situation,” he continued. “My Administration’s support for Israel’s security is rock solid and unwavering.”

At least 250 Israelis and 232 Palestinians have been killed in the fighting, according to Israeli media reports and the Palestinian government. 

The Israeli military confirmed that some Israeli soldiers and civilians have been taken hostage by the militants in Gaza, though did not say how many people had been taken.

The Palestinian government said the attacks Saturday are a result of Israel discrimination against Palestinians in the country, including attacks on Muslim minorities and occupation of the West Bank.

“We have repeatedly warned against the consequences of blocking the political horizon and failing to enable the Palestinian people to exercise their legitimate right to self-determination and establish long their own state,” a statement reads.

“We have also warned against the consequences of daily provocations and attacks including the continued settlers’ and occupation forces’ terrorism, as well as the raids on Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Christian and Muslim holy sites,” it continues.

Governments in Europe and the U.S. have pledged to support Israel amid rising violence, while nations in the Middle East have mostly condemned Israel for its role in the ongoing conflict with Palestine.

Updated 4:05 p.m.

Tags Benjamin Netanyahu Hamas Israel Israeli-Palestinian conflict Joe Biden palestine