President Joe Biden confirmed that US citizens are among the large number of hostages taken by Hamas during its surprise attack on Israel and said that the latest death toll for Americans was now 14.
Biden said at the White House there were “at least 14 American citizens killed” and “we now know that American citizens are among those being held by Hamas.”
The Palestinian militant group had carried out atrocities including murders of entire families and rapes of women, along with “stomach-turning reports of babies being killed,” Biden from the White House.
“There are moments in this life – I mean this literally – when a pure unadulterated evil is unleashed on this world,” he said in a hushed voice during a televised speech. “This is an act of sheer evil.”
The 80-year-old president, a long-time supporter of Israel, said that the United States would support Israel “today, tomorrow, as we always have.”
Biden added that he had one word – “Don’t” – for any of Israel’s adversaries who might try to get involved, in a clear message to long-term foe Iran, which backs Hamas.