President Joe Biden reaffirmed his “unshakeable” support for Israel after the surprise attack by Hamas as he prepared to address US Jewish community leaders on Wednesday.
Biden said he had spoken to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for a fourth time since Saturday’s assault by the Palestinian militant group, which has triggered a bloody war with Israel.
“This attack has brought to the surface painful memories and scars left by a millennium of anti-Semitism and genocide against the Jewish people,” Biden said during an earlier public event at the White House on Wednesday.
“My commitment to Israel’s security and the safety of the Jewish people is unshakeable. The United States has Israel’s back.”
Biden will later address leaders from the US Jewish community along with Vice President Kamala Harris’s husband Douglas Emhoff, who is Jewish and has led a series of outreach events.
The president will “deliver remarks on his unwavering support for Israel following the Hamas terrorist attacks, and his work to combat anti-Semitism,” the White House said in a statement.
The United States has sent military aid to Israel and dispatched an aircraft carrier group near the Israeli coast after the Hamas attacks, which left at least 1,200 people dead.
At least 22 Americans were killed, while an unknown number of US citizens are among an estimated 150 people — including women, children and the elderly — who were taken hostage by Hamas.
Biden has said that Israel has a “duty” to respond to the “sheer evil” of the attacks. Gaza officials have reported more than 1,000 people killed in Israeli air strikes.
The Hamas assault on Israel has raised fears of domestic attacks in the United States, and compounded concerns about a resurgence of anti-Semitism across the United States.
President Biden said on Tuesday that US authorities were on alert.
“In cities across the United States of America, police departments have stepped up security around centers… of Jewish life,” Biden said.
US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan also said on Tuesday that the president would meet with his domestic security advisors later in the week.
In August, a US shooter was sentenced to death for the 2018 massacre of 11 Jewish worshippers at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh — the deadliest anti-Semitic attack on American soil.
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