“When I was in office we were known as the Peace Presidency, because Israel’s adversaries knew that the United States stood strongly with Israel and there would be swift retribution if Israel [were] attacked,” Trump said in a statement. “Under Biden, the world is getting more violent and more unstable because Biden’s weakness and lack of support for Israel is leading to new attacks on our allies.”
The Hamas terrorist group in the Gaza Strip fired rockets toward the Jerusalem area and southern Israel on Monday. Israel launched airstrikes on the northern Gaza Strip in retaliation.
According to reports, the death toll as of early Wednesday rose to at least 40 people—35 Palestinians and five Israelis.
“America must always stand with Israel and make clear that the Palestinians must end the violence, terror, and rocket attacks, and make clear that the U.S. will always strongly support Israel’s right to defend itself,” Trump added. “Unbelievably, Democrats also continue to stand by crazed anti-American Rep. Ilhan Omar, and others, who savagely attack Israel while they are under terrorist assault.”
Rep. Ilhan Omar’s (D-Minn.), Rep. André Carson (D-Ind.), and Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) issued a joined statement on Monday, saying they “are horrified by the violent assault by Israeli forces on the Al Aqsa mosque, and the continued violent attacks on the Palestinian people.”
The statement said they “condemn all violence in this conflict” but said, “it is long past time we finally take action to protect Palestinian human rights and save lives.”
Pompeo also pointed out that Biden’s foreign policy gave Hamas a “signal” that the United States no longer values the relationship with Israel as usual.
“Biden delayed his call with Israeli leadership and restarted funding to the Palestinian Authority through the UN—both signal to Hamas & terrorists in the West Bank that America places less value on our relationship with Israel. It matters who leads,” Pompeo wrote on Twitter.
Biden made his first call to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Feb. 17, almost a month after he took office. Trump called Netanyahu two days after his inauguration in 2017.
On April 7, the Biden administration restored economic development and humanitarian assistance to Palestinians for a total of $235 million.
In comparison, Trump cut nearly $300 million in funding for the UN agency that helps Palestinian refugees in 2018.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) also called the attacks against Israel the “result of Joe Biden undermining America’s support for Israel.”
The White House said that Biden’s support for Israel “will never waver.”
“The President’s support for Israel’s security, for its legitimate right to defend itself and its people is fundamental and will never waver. We condemn ongoing rocket attacks by Hamas and other terrorist groups, including against Jerusalem,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said at a Tuesday press briefing.
“We also stand against extremism that has inflicted violence on both communities. Jerusalem, a city of such importance to people of faith around the world, must be a place of coexistence. It is up to the officials, residents, and leaders to restore the city to a place of calm,” Psaki added.
Secretary of State Antony Blinken called Israel’s Foreign Minister yesterday and “expressed his concerns regarding rocket attacks on Israel and his condolences for the lives lost as a result,” according to a statement issued by the Department of State.
Blinken also “emphasized the need for Israelis and Palestinians to be able to live in safety and security, as well as enjoy equal measures of freedom, security, prosperity, and democracy.”
Mimi Nguyen Ly contributed to this report.