President Joe Biden said on Monday that 11 Americans were among the casualties in a brutal attack on Israel by Hamas fighters, and that American hostages were likely among those taken by Hamas as a bargaining chip.
“As we continue to account for the horrors of the terrorist assault against Israel this weekend and the hundreds of civilians murdered, we are seeing the immense scale and reach of this tragedy,” Biden posted on social media. “Sadly, we now know that at least 11 American citizens were among those killed.”
As we continue to account for the horrors of the terrorist assault against Israel this weekend and the hundreds of civilians murdered, we are seeing the immense scale and reach of this tragedy.
Sadly, we now know that at least 11 American citizens were among those killed. pic.twitter.com/64GmhuoRob
— President Biden (@POTUS) October 9, 2023
Although Biden didn't respond much to the fighting in Israel in the first 24 hours, he later showed support for Israel in multiple social media posts and comments to reporters.
It isn't clear whether Biden's delayed response was a reaction to backlash that he continued hosting a BBQ event at the White House after the news broke or whether his team needed time to process the news and come up with a response.
We really shouldn't be that surprised about the delay. It's very possible that there was debate among Democrat leaders about exactly how to respond to the attack, since the U.S. has given a lot of money to the Palestinians in the last several years and factions of the party are anti-Israel if not outright anti-Semitic.
It's understandable that debate would occur about how to respond, but in the end, Biden really had no choice but to support Israel, which did not deserve this attack and has been a U.S. ally since its inception.
In addition to updating Americans on the number of dead in the attacks, Biden also posted:
The safety of American citizens is my top priority. We are still working to confirm but believe it is likely that American citizens may be among those being held by Hamas. I’ve directed my team to work with their Israeli counterparts on every aspect of the hostage crisis.
Unfortunately, it will be fresh in the minds of the terrorists holding these people that Biden just released $6 billion of frozen Iranian assets to get five hostages back.
Israel has called up thousands of reservists and is massing for a ground attack on Hamas that will likely be devastating for them.
It has already hit over 800 Hamas targets with rockets and leveled a city they were using as a staging area to the ground in order to disrupt their attacks.
More than 1,500 total people on both sides have been killed, according to CBS News, and most experts think the conflict will continue for some time.
Hamas has long been hostile to Israel, but seemed to recognize that large-scale attacks would be useless.
If Hamas is getting backing from Iran as many suspect, however, it could be giving leaders false confidence that they can actually prevail.