President Joe Biden vowed to provide Israel with full support, calling the Hamas attack on the country “an act of sheer evil.”
The US president said Washington is sending munitions and providing intelligence support and stands ready to take additional steps to support Israel.
Some 14 Americans were killed in the attack and others are being held hostage, he said, following a phone call with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Tuesday.
The combined death toll from the war approached 2,000 and Israel’s military said it’s building a base for thousands of soldiers in preparation for the next phase of its retaliation.
Hamas, which the US and Europe have declared a terrorist group, said late Monday it was prepared to kill hostages that it had taken if Israel attacks.
President Biden said the US is sending munitions and other military aid for Israel and his administration will push for congressional approval of a new aid package soon.
“In this moment, we must be crystal clear: We stand with Israel,” he said in a White House address. “This was an act of sheer evil,” he said of the weekend attack by Hamas.
“Israel has the right to respond, indeed has the duty to respond,” Biden said, adding that he’d told Netanyahu that if the US had been attacked in a similar way, “our response would be swift, decisive and overwhelming.”