The Palestinian movement behind the wide-scale attack launched over the weekend against Israel has taken aim at President Joe Biden, condemning the U.S. leader for his expressions of support to Israel in a recent speech delivered amid ongoing Israeli-Palestinian violence.
“We in the Islamic Resistance Movement ‘Hamas’ reject and strongly denounce the inflammatory statements made by American President Joe Biden, which coincided with the continuation and escalation of the barbaric Zionist aggression against our Palestinian people in the Gaza Strip and the rest of our occupied territories,” a Hamas spokesperson said in a statement shared with Newsweek.
The statement argued that Biden’s speech earlier Tuesday “carried political and legal fallacies with his blatant bias towards the most hideous, racist, hateful settler colonial occupation known to the Middle East and giving full cover to continue its massacres against defenseless children, women and the elderly, and by imposing the ugliest forms of collective punishment on more than two million Palestinians in Gaza, in clear violation of all international customs and covenants, which he claimed to adhere to.”
“We consider these statements an attempt to cover up the criminality and terrorism of the Zionist government, which has infiltrated in the blood of our people,” the statement added, “as he did not refer at all in his speech to the massacres committed by the Zionist forces against our people in cold blood and in full view of the world.”
The remarks came after Biden condemned Hamas’ surprise assault launched Saturday as an act of “sheer evil,” accusing the Palestinian movement of having “butchered” and “massacred” innocent civilians. Israeli authorities have reported on the deaths of more than 1,000 Israelis, while Palestinian health officials have put the death toll in the Gaza Strip at over 900 as the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) conducts a powerful bombing campaign against the Hamas-controlled enclave.
Biden also affirmed that he would call upon Congress to increase funding to Israel and offer direct support toward resolving active hostage situations, which involve at least 150 Israelis and at least 20 U.S. citizens.
IDF Brigadier General Dan Goldfuss, commander of the 98th Paratroopers Division currently operating in the embattled southern kibbutz of Be’eri, described atrocities said to have been committed by Palestinian fighters during the attacks.
“The last four days have been difficult for us,” Goldfuss told reporters earlier on Tuesday. “We find ourselves under an attack by a cruel and vicious enemy that entered our villages and slaughtered women and children in their houses and their beds, burning them alive, tying them and killing them, and taking some of them back in Gaza as animals in cages and under threats of killing them.”
The Palestinian attack, titled Operation “Al-Aqsa Flood” by Hamas after the revered site in the disputed holy city of Jerusalem, marked Israel’s biggest security setback in decades, as well as a particularly bloody new chapter in the long-running Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The IDF response has been called Operation “Swords of Iron” and is expected to continue to unfold in the coming days.
Both the U.S. and Israel view Hamas, an Islamist movement that rose out of the Muslim Brotherhood in the 1980s, as a terrorist organization.
The Hamas statement shared with Newsweek referred to the group as “a national liberation movement, fighting on our occupied land against a hideous Zionist occupation, and defending our people and their right to freedom and self-determination.”
“Operation Al-Aqsa Flood came to defend our people, Al-Aqsa Mosque, and the prisoners, stop the aggression and siege, and end the occupation that is perched upon the chests of our people,” the Hamas statement said.
Turning back to Biden, the statement went on to “call on the American administration to review its biased position, and to move away from the policy of double standards when it comes to the Zionist occupation.”
“And we affirm the right of our Palestinian people to defend themselves, their land, and their Islamic and Christian sanctities, with the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque at its heart,” the statement added, “until the achievement of their legitimate aspirations for liberation, return and the establishment of the Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.”
This is a developing story and more information will be added as it becomes available.