Former President Trump responded to the escalating violence between Israel and Palestine, sharply criticizing President Biden’s “weakness and lack of support for Israel” for contributing to the recent rocket attacks in emboldening Israel’s regional adversaries Hamas.
“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,” Trump said in an emailed statement from his Save America Pac on Tuesday. “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 blasted Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) over her recent tweet regarding the situation where she called Monday’s Israeli airstrikes an “act of terrorism.”
“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,”‘ Trump said.
Trump also noted how his administration was “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 was attacked.” In the final months of his presidency, Trump helped brokered the Abraham Accords; the U.S. brokered normalization agreements between Israel, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain over the last 25 years since Jordan in 1994. Trump also helped both Sudan and Morocco establish full diplomatic relations with Israel, becoming the third and fourth Arab nation to move toward normalization with Israel, all occurring within four short months.
The former president weighed in on the ongoing violence for the first time Tuesday as news reports showed a barrage of rockets launched from the Gaza Strip. Hamas has taken credit for the outgoing rocket fire, saying it launched a total of 630 rockets that have overwhelmed Israel’s Iron Dome rocket defense system. The escalation is considered to be the most intense fighting between Israel and Palestine since the 2014 war.
The violence erupted last Friday at Jerusalem’s Al-Aqsa Mosque when Israeli police in riot gear deployed in large numbers clashed with thousands of Muslim worshippers holding evening prayers on the third holiest site during the final days of Ramadan. On Tuesday, the 22-nation Arab League condemned Israel’s airstrikes on Gaza, including the six Arab nations that have diplomatic ties with Israel, strongly condemned Israel’s actions over the weekend regarding the Sheikh Jarrah dispute and Friday raid on the Al-Aqsa mosque.
According to reports from Israeli health officials, at least 28 Palestinians, including 10 children, were killed in overnight Gaza airstrikes on Monday. Three Israeli civilians have been killed due to the increased violence, and at least 10 more have been wounded.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in a nationally televised speech Tuesday, said Hamas and the Islamic Jihad “have paid and will pay a heavy price” for the attacks against Israeli citizens.
Biden has yet to weigh in publicly on the situation and is facing intense criticism from both Republicans and Democrats over the escalating violence in the region, calling out the president for different reasons regarding the escalating violence in the region. House Armed Services Committee member Rep. Michael Waltz (R-FL) slammed the Biden administration for “handing out cash hoping it fixes the situation” without imposing any conditions upfront.
“They’ve given away all leverage right up front, and we’re seeing this is a theme with the Biden administration in terms of handing out cash hoping it fixes the situation,” Waltz said. “So they’ve already agreed to give hundreds of millions of dollars without any conditions.”
“And, importantly, without changing the governing situation on the ground. There’s just endemic corruption within the Palestinian government that is a real disservice to its people,” Waltz added. “Yet, American taxpayer dollars are going to flow back into that situation.”
Meanwhile, Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) wildly claimed that the U.S is “enabling” the violence in the region by giving Israel foreign aid while slamming both Biden and Secretary of State Antony Blinken for the meaningless statement and for not imposing “condition [on] the aid sent to Israel.”
Israel’s ambassador to the U.S. criticized Tlaib for “stoking tensions” with her tweet about Israel’s deadly clashes with Hamas.
“Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, maybe you should open your eyes to the whole picture? Islam’s 3rd holiest site is being used to stockpile Molotov cocktails and rocks that are being lobbed at the police and at Jewish worshippers praying at the Western Wall, below the Temple Mount,” Israel’s Ambassador Gilad Erdan shared on Twitter Monday.
Earlier, White House press secretary Jen Psaki opened up the daily briefing condemning the rocket attacks by Hamas and reiterating Biden’s “support for Israel’s security, for its legitimate right to defend itself, and its people is fundamental and will never waver.” She also noted the Biden administration “have spoken candidly with Israeli officials” regarding their plans to evict dozens of Palestinians from an east Jerusalem neighborhood goes “against” U.S.-Israeli interests in finding a solution to the conflict.
“The President has been briefed daily on developments in Jerusalem and Gaza. He just received another update before I came out here from the National Security Advisor. Since last week, he has directed his team to engage intensively with senior Israeli and Palestinian officials, as well as leaders throughout the Middle East. His team is communicating a clear and consistent message in support of de-escalation, and that is our primary focus,” Psaki told reporters.
The White House disclosed shortly after press briefing that Biden sent a letter to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, with the exchange of letters between the two leaders began after the 2020 election. The spokesperson declined to share details of the recent letter but noted the correspondence is part of the administration’s “ongoing outreach with the Palestinian leadership on a range of issues of mutual interest, including ongoing efforts to de-escalate violence and restore calm.” U.S. officials have also had private, lower-level contacts with Palestinian officials, including Abbas’s senior adviser, Hussein al-Sheikh.
Meanwhile, an Egyptian intelligence official said that Egypt is engaged in “intensive” talks with Israel and Gaza militants on reaching a cease-fire to end the latest round of violence. However, the behind-the-scenes mediation efforts from Egypt, which have mediated past Israeli-Hamas conflicts, are being hindered by Iran’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, who is funding Hamas with weapons by urging Palestinians to “stand strong,” with launching violent attacks, calling Israel “criminals” who only understands the “language of power.”