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Biden condemns the ‘appalling assault’ by Hamas as Israel’s allies express anger and shock

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden on Saturday decried the “appalling assault” by Hamas militants and his administration pledged to ensure Israel has “what it needs to defend itself” after the surprise attack that drew worldwide condemnation and anger from Israel’s allies.

Biden made clear in a call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that “we stand ready to offer all appropriate means of support,” according to the White House. Secretary of State Antony Blinken rushed to the White House for meetings and was phoning foreign counterparts, while Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin spoke with Israel’s defense minister.

“Terrorism is never justified. Israel has a right to defend itself and its people,” Biden said in a statement that also warned “any other party hostile to Israel” against “seeking advantage in this situation.” Washington’s support for “Israel’s security is rock solid and unwavering,” the president said. His Pentagon chief said the U.S. was committed to helping Israel to “protect civilians from indiscriminate violence and terrorism” and with its defense needs.