The White House condemns ‘unprovoked attacks by Hamas terrorists on Israeli civilians’ that killed at least 40 people – and warns ‘there is never any justification for terrorism’
- The strong statement was issued on Saturday morning following early morning attacks on Israel by the militant group Hamas
- Israel has vowed to take revenge on Palestinian militants, warning Hamas they have made a ‘grave mistake’
- The attacks are believed to have killed at least 40 Israelis
The White House has condemned Hamas terrorists’ unprovoked attacks on Israeli civilians.
The strong statement was issued on Saturday morning following early morning attacks on Israel by the militant group Hamas.
“The United States unequivocally condemns Hamas terrorists’ unprovoked attacks on Israeli civilians. There is never any justification for terrorism,” National Security Council spokeswoman Adrienne Watson said in the statement.
“We stand firmly with the government and people of Israel and express our condolences for the Israeli lives lost in these attacks.”
The Palestinian group fired a devastating rocket attack into the country at dawn during the festival of Simchat Torah, a day when Jews complete the annual cycle of reading the Torah.
A car burns after a rocket attack in southern Israel on Saturday. Hamas claimed to have fired 5,000 rockets into the country
Smoke rises from a building in Gaza after Israel fired rockets in response to Palestinian airstrikes earlier on Saturday
Hamas then sent troops in paragliders across the border in a surprise attack, sparking intracommunal firefights.
Israel has vowed to take revenge on Palestinian militants, warning Hamas that they have made a “grave mistake.”
Residents living close to Israel’s border with Gaza have been ordered to stay indoors and others have been evacuated after Hamas militants infiltrated the country by land, sea and air and launched a series of rocket attacks.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed that the militants will pay an “unprecedented price” after their attacks killed at least 40 Israelis.
Palestinian officials have since claimed that 161 people were killed in reprisal attacks by Israel.
Videos on social media appeared to show armed troops from the Al-Qassam Brigades, the militant wing of Hamas, moving through built-up areas firing weapons as Israeli residents were evacuated from their homes after airstrikes.
Hamas claimed to have fired 5,000 rockets into Israel from the occupied Gaza Strip, setting off air raid sirens in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem
Men believed to be Palestinian militants are seen driving an Israeli military vehicle after reportedly seizing it near the Israel-Gaza Strip border
A woman stands in a damaged room in Ashkelon, Israel, after rockets were launched from the Gaza Strip by Hamas militants
In a statement on Telegram, Hamas called on both “the resistance fighters in the West Bank” and “our Arab and Muslim nations” to join the fight.
In comments reported by CNN, militant commander Deif said: “If you have a weapon, take it out. Now is the time to use it – go out with trucks, cars, axes. Today begins the best and most honorable history.”
“Today the people are regaining their revolution,” he added in other statements reported by AP, calling on Palestinians from east Jerusalem to northern Israel to “expel the occupiers and demolish the walls.”
In response, the Israeli Defense Forces vowed that Hamas “will face the consequences and responsibility for these events.”