America's reaction to escalating violence amid the Israel-Hamas war
Communities in the U.S. were horrified by the recent Middle East violence, sparking rallies and memorials across America.LEARN MORE
President Biden denounced Hamas militants' deadly actions in Israel during a human rights event Saturday.
The U.S. State Department has confirmed that the casualties among Americans due to the Israeli-Hamas war have climbed to 29, with 15 individuals still unaccounted for. This includes one lawful U.S. permanent resident.
Addressing the 2023 Human Rights Campaign National Dinner on Saturday, President Joe Biden said he spoke to some of their families on Friday.
“I spoke for over an hour with a family member of those Americans who are still unaccounted for on a Zoom call. They've endured the agony of not knowing what's happened,” President Biden said.
On Saturday, President Biden spoke with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian authorities, including President Mahmoud Abbas, advocating for stability in the Middle East and “to prevent the conflict from widening,” according to the White House.
President Biden also denounced Hamas militants' deadly actions in Israel during the human rights event.
"The humanitarian crisis in Gaza, innocent Palestinian families, and a vast majority of them nothing to do with Hamas; they're being used as human shields," Biden said. "Hate never goes away."
Earlier on Saturday, the U.S. called for the protection of civilians in the Gaza Strip.
"As Israel pursues its legitimate right, to defending its people and to trying to ensure that this never happens again, it is vitally important that all of us look out for civilians, and we're working together to do exactly that," U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said. "None of us want to see suffering by civilians on any side, whether it's in Israel, whether it's in Gaza, whether it's anywhere else.”
Furthermore, the Biden administration announced Saturday that it’s deploying the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower carrier strike group to aid Israel in the Eastern Mediterranean, per anonymous defense officials. Eisenhower will lead the USS Gerald R. Ford group near Israel, boosting the U.S. presence with destroyers, fighters, and cruisers.
Israel has been bombing Gaza for the past week, killing more than 2,200 so far in response to the cross-border Hamas attack that killed over 1,300 Israelis, according to the Associated Press.
The Israeli military has declared its readiness for an expected land offensive, stating its intention to strike Gaza City "very soon." Prime Minister Netanyahu took to social media to show a meeting with Israeli soldiers stationed in the Gaza Strip, emphasizing, "We are all ready.
Additional reporting by The Associated Press.
Israel warned civilians to stay out of the Lebanese border area and ordered residents living nearby to seek shelter.
Travelers will head to a port in Cyprus, where chartered flights will help evacuate them.
Schools and houses of worship in cities across the U.S. are bolstering security over fears of violence as the war between Israel and Hamas continues.
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