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Hamas attack recalled worst rampages of Isis, says Joe Biden as he condemns ‘pure unadulterated evil’

The US President has condemned the attack on Israel at the weekend as a moment of “pure unadulterated evil”, as he compared Hamas’s actions to “the worst rampages of Isis”.

In an address from the White House on Tuesday, Joe Biden described “stomach-churning reports of babies being killed”, of “parents butchered trying to protect their children. Entire families slain. Young people massacred attending a musical festival celebrating peace. Women raped, assaulted, paraded as trophies.”

“The brutality of Hamas’s blood thirstiness brings to mind the worst rampages of Isis. This is terrorism.”

Flanked by the Vice-President, Kamala Harris, and Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, he declared: “Israel has the right to respond, indeed the duty to respond to these vicious attacks”, adding that Hamas was a group whose “stated purpose for being is to kill Jews”.

Mr Biden said: “There are moments in this life and I mean this literally when the pure unadulterated evil is unleashed on this world. The people of Israel lived through one such moment this weekend. This is an act of sheer evil.”

Israel pounded the Gaza Strip on Tuesday with the fiercest air strikes in its 75-year-old conflict with the Palestinians, razing whole districts despite a threat from Hamas militants to execute a captive for each home hit without warning. More than 800 people are reported to have been killed in the bombardment in Gaza so far.

It follows the shock weekend attack in which more than 1,000 Israelis were killed after Hamas militants infiltrated Israel by land, sea and air.

The US President told the news conference that he had spoken to the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, earlier on Tuesday, his third call in four days, and outlined more detail of American military assistance being sent to help.

The US has already ordered the Ford carrier strike group, led by the USS Gerald R Ford aircraft carrier, to the eastern Mediterranean, in a show of force. The Pentagon has said that US warplanes, destroyers and cruisers that sailed with the Ford will conduct maritime and air operations which could include intelligence collection, interdictions and long-range strikes.

Mr Biden said that America had bolstered its aircraft presence and stood ready to move additional assets as needed. Warned against anyone capitalising on the crisis, he said: “Anyone thinking of taking advantage of this situation, I have one word: Don’t.”

He added that he had offered Israel America’s support and advice on hostage recovery effort, adding that Americans were among dozens of hostages kidnapped by Hamas. He said he had directed his team to share intelligence and military experts to consult and advise the Israelis.

“Our hearts may be broken but our resolve is clear. Let there be no doubt. The United States has Israel’s back. We’ll make sure the Jewish and democratic state of Israel can defend itself today, tomorrow as we always have,” he said.

Mr Biden added that US law enforcement agencies were taking steps to disrupt any domestic threat that might emerge. The FBI said earlier it was “closely monitoring unfolding events” but added it “does not have specific and credible intelligence indicating a threat to the United States stemming from the Hamas attacks in Israel”.

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