WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. President Joe Biden Saturday called Hamas a terrorist organization and said Israel has the right to launch attacks against the organization. Biden called the strategic bombing of Hamas targets self-defense.
The President spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu. The President reaffirmed his strong support for Israel’s right to defend itself against rocket attacks from Hamas and other terrorist groups in Gaza. He condemned these indiscriminate attacks against towns and cities across Israel.
The President updated the Prime Minister on high-level U.S. engagement with regional partners on this issue and discussed ongoing diplomatic efforts. The President noted that this current period of conflict has tragically claimed the lives of Israeli and Palestinian civilians, including children. He raised concerns about the safety and security of journalists and reinforced the need to ensure their protection.
“We’ll do whatever it takes to restore order and quiet, and the security of our people and deterrence,” Netanyahu said of his country’s attacks against Hamas in Gaza. “We’re trying to degrade Hamas’ terrorist abilities and to degrade their will to do this again.”
Biden shared his grave concern about the intercommunal violence across Israel. He welcomed the statements by the Prime Minister and other leaders opposing such hateful acts and encouraged continued steps to hold violent extremists accountable and to establish calm.
They discussed the current tensions in Jerusalem and expressed their shared desire for Jerusalem to be a place of peaceful coexistence for people of all faiths and backgrounds. The President voiced his concern about violent confrontations in the West Bank.
He expressed his support for steps to enable the Palestinian people to enjoy the dignity, security, freedom, and economic opportunity that they deserve and affirmed his support for a two-state solution. The leaders agreed to continue the close consultation between their teams and to remain in touch in the days ahead.