American politicians on both sides of the aisle have voiced support for Israel after Hamas missile attacks on Monday were met with airstrikes on the Gaza Strip following a day in which hundreds of rioters were injured in clashes with police in Jerusalem.
Islamic militant group Hamas fired hundreds of rockets into Israel, killing at least three people and wounding dozens. An Israeli Defense Forces spokesperson called the Hamas airstrikes a “blatant, severe attack." In response, airstrikes by IDF targeting militants in Gaza killed at least 28 people, including 10 children and some civilians.
Dozens of the Hamas-fired missiles were intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome air defense system.
Hamas also fired missiles into Jerusalem for the first time since 2014, as the city was celebrating Jerusalem Day and the unification of the Holy City.
The Hamas attacks came after a weekend of escalating tension and violence in Jerusalem’s Old City, the home to some of the holiest sites for Christianity, Judaism and Islam. Israelis and Palestinians both claim Jerusalem as their capital.
U.S. House Minority Leader Kevin, R-Calif., defended Israel’s retaliation against the Hamas missile attacks and assured that the U.S. stands with Israel.
“Israel has every right to defend itself against violence and the barrage of rockets from Hamas,” McCarthy tweeted on Monday. “The United States unequivocally stands with our ally Israel and the Jewish people.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., who has been historically supportive of Israel, also tweeted in Israel’s support after the missile attacks.
“Israel unequivocally has the right to defend itself & its people, & I condemn today's unjustifiable attacks by Hamas against innocent civilians,” Hoyer tweeted. “Israelis & Palestinians both deserve a future of peace & security, & I hope both sides take positive steps to promote that end.”
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued a statement calling out politicians and the Biden administration, who have “at times falsely, shamefully, and without justification singled out Israel for blame.”
"The United States must stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the people and government of Israel, and I will work with my colleagues to ensure they have the support they need as they defend their sovereignty and respond to these attacks,” Cruz wrote.
Former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang and candidate for mayor of New York City also tweeted in support of Israel.
“I'm standing with the people of Israel who are coming under bombardment attacks, and condemn the Hamas terrorists,” he wrote. “The people of NYC will always stand with our brothers and sisters in Israel who face down terrorism and persevere.”
Cruz commended Yang for opposing the “rabidly pro-Hamas & anti-Israel attacks” of two Democratic congresswomen.
President Joe Biden has not made a statement regarding the attacks. White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki told reporters that the White House has “serious concerns” about the situation and is “closely monitoring” the violence.
National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan spoke with his Israeli counterpart, Meir Ben-Shabbat, on Sunday. Psaki stated that Sullivan "reiterated concerns about the potential evictions of Palestinian families from their homes, and they agreed that the launching of rocket attacks and sending incendiary balloons from Gaza towards Israel is unacceptable, and must be condemned."
Some Democrats, however, such as Rep. Rashida Tlaib, D-Mich. and Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., have criticized Israel’s retaliation against the Hamas attacks.
Omar called Israel’s airstrikes that killed civilians an “act of terrorism.”
Tlaib, a Palestinian American, tweeted that the aid Congress sends to support the IDF should be conditioned, accusing Israel of committing “human rights violations.”
The Israel military called up 5,000 reservists for active duty as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned Israel would “increase both the intensity of the attacks and the rate of attacks,” NBC News reported.
IDF tweeted on Tuesday that for the past 18 hours, Hamas, an Iran-supported Palestinian terrorist organization that controls the Gaza Strip, had fired one rocket into Israel every three minutes as the attacks continued.
IDF responded to the Hamas attacks by bombing over 100 targets in Gaza, including a Hamas commander’s home.
The traditional Jerusalem Day Flag March had to be rerouted Monday due to the riots and violence near the Temple Mount and a weekend of escalating tension.
Hamas said the rocket attacks were in response to Israeli “crimes and aggression” in Jerusalem.
Emily Wood is a reporter for The Christian Post. She can be reached at: email@example.com