The head of mission at the U.S. embassy in Jerusalem toured the Israeli border area near the Gaza Strip on Wednesday, seeing first-hand the devastation wrought by Hamas‘s terror invasion over the weekend.
“We’ve come down here along the Gaza periphery to bear witness to the atrocities that were committed here on Saturday, and it’s really unbelievable,” Chargé d’Affaires Stephanie Hallet said as she choked up while filming a video message from Kibbutz Kfar Aza.
“As a mother and just as a human being, to see and to know what happened here is really important. We’ve been here, we’ve seen it, and it is evil, and we stand with Israel, all of us, we stand with Israel,” she said.
U.S. President Joe Biden on Tuesday night gave a 10-minute televised speech in which he addressed the “unadulterated evil” of Hamas’s attack on Israel.
“The brutality of Hamas, the bloodthirstiness, brings to mind the worst rampages of ISIS. This is terrorism, but sadly for the Jewish people, it’s not new,” said Biden.
“They use Palestinian civilians as human shields,” he said of Hamas, which has said that it will execute captives, “in violation of every code of human morality.”
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken was scheduled to head to Jerusalem on Wednesday.
An American cargo plane delivering an initial shipment of advanced weaponry arrived in Israel on Tuesday night.
The Pentagon announced on Sunday that it was sending “additional equipment and resources, including munitions” to the Israel Defense Forces, while redirecting a Carrier Strike Group to the Eastern Mediterranean.
The strike group consists of the USS Gerald R. Ford (CVN-78), the world’s largest aircraft carrier and the newest in the U.S. fleet, the Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser USS Normandy and four Arleigh-Burke-class guided-missile destroyers.