As Israel continues to launch dozens of missile strikes into Gaza, so far having killed at least 24 Palestinians, including children, and injuring 70 more, former vice president and current Democratic frontrunner Joe Biden took to Twitter to declare that he supports the country’s actions.
“Israel has a right to defend itself against terrorist threats,” wrote Biden, “It is intolerable that Israeli civilians live their lives under the constant fear of rocket attacks. That’s why our administration was such a strong supporter of Israel’s life-saving Iron Dome.” Along with his statement, he shared an article about the Gaza rocket attacks from NBC.
Israel has a right to defend itself against terrorist threats. It is intolerable that Israeli civilians live their lives under the constant fear of rocket attacks. That's why our administration was such a strong supporter of Israel's life-saving Iron Dome. https://t.co/aQOUdKZqq7
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) November 12, 2019
On Tuesday, Israel Defense Forces (IDF) announced that they had killed Palestinian Islamic Jihad commander Bahaa Abu el-Atta. At a press conference about the attack, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that Abu el-Atta was a “ticking bomb” and that the strike had been carefully plotted to avoid further casualties. However, the Palestinian news agency WAFA reported that, in addition to Abu el-Atta’s wife being killed in the attack, at least three other Palestinians died.
In response to the killings, Palestinian groups launched hundreds of rocket attacks into Israel. The Israeli army says that they’ve been able to intercept 90% of them. In retaliation for those attacks Israel has carried out fresh round of air raids, which health officials say have killed at least 24 Palestinians. Netanyahu has declared that Israel will continue to rain missiles on Gaza unless the rocket attacks stop. “They have one choice: to stop these attacks or absorb more and more blows. Their choice,” he said.
In addition to Biden weighing in on the violence, current vice president Mike Pence also tweeted his support for Israel. “The United States condemns the barrage of rockets on Israeli civilians,” he wrote, “It’s clear Hamas & Palestinian Islamic Jihad put violence ahead of bettering the lives of the people of Gaza. America strongly affirms Israel’s right to defend itself.”
The United States condemns the barrage of rockets on Israeli civilians. It's clear Hamas & Palestinian Islamic Jihad put violence ahead of bettering the lives of the people of Gaza. America strongly affirms Israel's right to defend itself.
— Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) November 12, 2019
After a number of the Democratic candidates broached the subject of conditioning aid to Israel during the recent J Street conference, Biden criticized such sentiments. “Look, I have been on record from very early on opposed to settlements, and I think it’s a mistake,” Biden told a reporter, “And Netanyahu knows my position. But the idea that we would draw military assistance from Israel, on the condition that they change a specific policy, I find it to be absolutely outrageous.”
In 2016, the Obama administration agreed to give Israel $38 billion in military aid over the course of a decade, the biggest such aid package in United States history.