Hamas makes al-Qaeda look pure: Joe Biden

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Joe Biden

Joe Biden

Washington: Palestinian militant group Hamas, which attacked Israel last week taking more than 1,000 innocent lives, is worse than al-Qaeda, US President Joe Biden said Friday.


"The more we learned about the attack, the more horrifying it becomes. More than 1,000 innocent lives lost, including at least 27 Americans," Biden said at the top of his remarks on Hydrogen Hubs in Philadelphia.

"These guys make -- they make al-Qaeda look pure. They're pure evil. Like I said from the beginning, the United States, make no mistake about it, stands with Israel. The United States stands with Israel," Biden said.

"Secretary of State Antony Blinken was in Israel yesterday, and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin is there today," the President said.


"We're making sure Israel has what it needs to defend itself and respond to these attacks. It's also a priority for me to urgently address the humanitarian crisis in Gaza," he said.

Biden said at his direction, his teams are working in the region, including communicating directly with the governments of Israel, Egypt, Jordan and other Arab nations, and the United Nations to surge support and humanitarian consequences for Hamas attack to help Israel.

"We can't lose sight of the fact that the overwhelming majority of Palestinians had nothing to do with Hamas and Hamas's appalling attacks, and their suffering as a result, as well. This morning, I spoke with the family members of all those Americans who are still unaccounted for, on a Zoom call, for about an hour and 10, 15 minutes," he said.


"They're going through agony not knowing what the status of their sons, daughters, husbands, wives, children are. You know, it's gut wrenching. I assured them my personal commitment to do everything possible -- everything possible to return every missing American to their families," he said.

"We're working round the clock to secure the release of Americans held by Hamas, in close cooperation with Israel and our partners around the region, and we're not going to stop till we bring them home," Biden said at the event.

During a press gaggle, White House Principal Deputy Secretary Olivia Dalton said the US is going to continue that level of significant engagement as they continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with Israel and make sure that they have every level of support in the days and weeks ahead.


The United States continues to aggressively work with Egypt and Israel to navigate the possibility and create the conditions for the possibility of corridors for both safe passage for civilians who want to leave Gaza and flee the danger and also for humanitarian corridors to allow humanitarian assistance that is critically needed to replenish stockpiles within Gaza.

"Both of these things are critically important. We continue to talk to our Egyptian and Israeli allies about the importance of those things also with the UN," Dalton said.

"Hamas continues to engage in tactics like using tunnels under residential buildings to conduct their operations, holing up in hospitals and mosques and schools. This is a terrorist organization with no regard for human life, with no regard for civilians. It is barbaric and brutal, and we've got to continue to call it out," he said.

Armed Hamas militants based in the Gaza Strip blasted through the Israeli security fence and streamed into Israel by land, air and sea on Saturday, in what is now described as an unprecedented attack.

Since then, the attack has killed more than 1,300 people in Israel while the Israeli counter-airstrikes have killed more than 1,530 people in Gaza. Israel has claimed roughly 1,500 Hamas militants were killed inside Israel.