Former President Barack Obama on Monday condemned Hamas’ “brazen terrorist attacks” against Israel, which has resulted in hundreds of casualties in recent days.
“All Americans should be horrified and outraged by the brazen terrorist attacks on Israel and the slaughter of innocent civilians. We grieve for those who died, pray for the safe return of those who’ve been held hostage, and stand squarely alongside our ally, Israel, as it dismantles Hamas,” he said in a post shared on X, formerly Twitter, Monday.
“As we support Israel’s right to defend itself against terror, we must keep striving for a just and lasting peace for Israelis and Palestinians alike,” he added.
Shortly after Obama released his statement, Former President Bill Clinton also addressed the attacks for the first time. “I condemn the horrific terrorist assault carried out by Hamas in Israel, and mourn the senseless loss of life. My heart is with all those affected by the violence, including American families,” wrote Clinton. “Now is a time for the world to rally against terrorism and to support Israeli democracy. I stand with the government of Israel and all Israelis, and urge them to stand together. This is a moment to focus on purpose over politics.”
Hamas militants launched a surprise assault over the weekend in areas throughout Israel, with militants firing thousands of rockets into Israel as well as engaging in a ground attack.
The Israeli Defense Forces launched Operation “Swords of Iron” in response to the attacks, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declaring that the country was “at war.”
As of Monday, the the death toll on both sides rose to over 1,500, with at least 11 Americans among the dead. An estimated 260 people were killed by gunmen who stormed an outdoor music festival in Israel near the Gaza Strip on Saturday.
Following the attack on Saturday morning, President Joe Biden wrote on X that he “offered our support and reiterated my unwavering commitment to Israel’s security.” He emphasized his sentiments in a statement released Monday.
“This is not some distant tragedy,” Biden wrote. “The ties between Israel and the United States run deep. It is personal for so many American families who are feeling the pain of this attack as well as the scars inflicted through millennia of antisemitism and persecution of Jewish people.”