Biden to condemn Hamas ‘brutality’ in its attack on Israel

US President Joe Biden plans to use a speech on Tuesday about the four-day-old war between Israel and Hamas to condemn the militant group for a shocking multipronged attack on Israel that has killed hundreds of civilians, including at least 11 American citizens, according to a White House official.

Mr Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris spoke by phone earlier on Tuesday to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to discuss the situation on the ground.

The president was also expected to speak of the actions he and other allies have taken to support Israel in the aftermath of the attack, according to the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

He also planned to address the brutality of the militants toward Israelis who were captured by Hamas in the operation, including rape and torture, the official said.

Israel Palestinians
Rubble of buildings hit by an Israeli airstrike in Gaza City on Tuesday (Hatem Moussa/AP/PA)

Retaliatory strikes by Israel on the Gaza Strip have also left hundreds of dead and wounded Palestinians in the blockaded 141-square mile area, one the poorest patches of territory in the world.

The death toll was expected to grow as Israel pummelled Gaza with airstrikes and sent tens of thousands of Palestinians fleeing into UN shelters.

The White House on Monday confirmed that it has already begun delivering critically needed munitions and military equipment to Israel, and the Pentagon was reviewing its inventories to see what else can be sent quickly to boost its ally in the war against Hamas.

The US Ford carrier strike group has arrived in the Mediterranean, within range to provide a host of air support or long-range strike options for Israel if requested, but also to surge US military presence there to prevent the war from spilling over into a more dangerous regional conflict, a US official told The Associated Press.

The official spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the arrival ahead of an announcement.

The Pentagon has said that the 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.

Israel Palestinians
Nahal Neta, son of Adrienne Neta, 66, a nurse living in Kibbitz Be’eri and now missing, weeps during a news conference by US citizens whose relatives are missing, in Tel Aviv, Israel (Maya Alleruzzo/AP/PA)

According to an August poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research four in 10 Americans (44%) said the US gives about the right amount of support to Israel in the conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians.

Republicans were more likely than Democrats to say the US should offer more support to Israel. Four in 10 Americans (42%) said the correct amount of support is given to the Palestinians. Democrats and Independents were more likely than Republicans to say the Palestinians should receive more support.

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