WASHINGTON (Nexstar) – United States officials are condemning Hamas and say the U.S. will help Israel defeat the terrorist organization — stating innocent Israelis and innocent Palestinians are being terrorized by the group.
U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin arrived in Israel Friday and said the U.S. will do everything it can to help Israel defeat Hamas.
“The deliberate cruelty of Hamas vividly reminds me of Isis — bloodthirsty, fanatic and hateful,” Secretary Austin said.
“This viciousness goes on, and on, and on. You hear of new ones every day,” Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-NY) added.
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said, “Hamas continues to use innocent civilians as human shields and is reportedly blocking roads to prevent Palestinians from moving to southern Gaza out of harms way.”
In addition to helping Israel, officials say it’s important to provide humanitarian aid to the Palestinian people.
“There are innocent Palestinians who are actually the victims of Hamas as well,” Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA) said.
Rep. Larry Buschon (R-IN) added, “The Palestinian people in Gaza are also victims of this because Hamas, who are terrorists, are controlling the Gaza strip.”
Lawmakers emphasize that once Hamas is defeated, providing ongoing humanitarian support to the Palestinian people is key to a lasting peace in the region.
“We can’t stop after we’ve defeated Hamas. We’ve got to support in ways that we have not in the past, the people in that area,” Rep. Emmanuel Cleaver (D-MO) said.