Good afternoon. I want to thank Ambassador Azar for the invitation to join you today to express, on behalf of the United States of America, our condolences to all those Israelis – and our own citizens too – who lost their loved ones and suffered injuries at the hands of terrorists in the attacks last weekend.
Terrorism has no place in the modern world. As President Biden said two days ago, Hamas’ terrorist acts are an act of evil. Families slain. People massacred. Thousands killed and wounded. It’s an appalling attack on humanity that has brought to the surface painful memories of antisemitism.
More than 1,200 innocent civilians were murdered.
In this moment, we must be crystal clear: we stand with Israel as they defend themselves from terrorism and hatred. And we will make sure Israel has what it needs to take care of its citizens and defend itself from terrorist attacks effectively, consistent with the rule of law and the law of war.
Like every nation in the world, Israel has the right to defend— indeed has a duty to defend — itself from these vicious attacks.
Ambassador, I know President Biden has spoken several times with Prime Minister Netanyahu since the launch of the terrorist attacks on October 7 to express our country’s deep sympathy for all those missing, wounded, and killed, and to pledge his full support for Israel at this time of need.
We support Israel as they hold terrorists accountable for these attacks, and take necessary and proportionate action.
Terrorism is never justified. The United States has Israel’s back.