This comes after Hamas launched a surprise attack on Israel overnight, killing and wounding hundreds, with reports of hostages being taken by Hamas terrorists. More than 5,000 rockets were launched at Israel. Israel has mobilized their defense forces.
"This is disgraceful and every single person involved in drafting and approving this tweet should be immediately expelled from the U.S. government," Texas Senator Ted Cruz said.
The original tweet read: "We unequivocally condemn the attack of Hamas terrorists and the loss of life that incurred. We urge all sides to refrain from violence and retaliatory attacks. Terror and violence solve nothing."
"@USPalAffairs tweeted out that 'all sides' must refrain from violence," Rep. Claudia Tenney wrote. "We cannot conflate terrorists targeting Israeli civilians and our greatest ally in the region defending itself. Whomever wrote this tweet must be fired and the Biden administration must publicly denounce this shameful tweet. #StandWithIsrael"
The tweet was later deleted, but not before it was roundly condemned across social media.
"Over 100 Israelis murdered, hundreds injured, in Hamas surprise onslaught terror attack on Israel on the Jewish holiday of Sukkot. But shocking and unacceptable request from the U.S. Office of Palestinian Affairs calling on Israel to not respond and refrain from violence," Adam Milstein said.
The US Office of Palestinian Affairs issued additional posts and notes on their site, putting out a Security Alert saying that "The U.S. Embassy is closely monitoring the security situation as a result of rockets fired from Gaza across southern and central Israel, including Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, and the infiltration of Hamas militants.
"The U.S. Embassy is aware that there have been casualties as a result of these incidents. U.S. citizens are reminded to remain vigilant and take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness as security incidents, including mortar and rocket fire, often take place without warning." They said embassy personnel are "sheltering in place."
On social media, the US Embassy said they are "closely monitoring the security situation as a result of rockets fired from Gaza across southern and central Israel. U.S. citizens are reminded to remain vigilant and take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness."
The Israeli Ambassador to the US, Michael Herzog, calls “the free world to unequivocally condemn” the attacks by Hamas and support Israel’s “right to self-defense."
“This offensive was launched while Israelis were celebrating a religious Jewish holiday.”
"Citizens of Israel, we are at war, not in an operation or in rounds, but at war," Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said. "This morning, Hamas launched a murderous surprise attack against the State of Israel and its citizens. We have been in this since the early morning hours. I convened the heads of the security establishment and ordered – first of all – to clear out the communities that have been infiltrated by terrorists. This is currently being carried out. At the same time, I have ordered an extensive mobilization of reserves and that we return fire of a magnitude that the enemy has not known. The enemy will pay an unprecedented price. In the meantime, I call on the citizens of Israel to strictly adhere to the directives of the IDF and Home Front Command. We are at war and we will win it."
spokesperson Adrienne Watson, reading:
"The United States unequivocally condemns the unprovoked attacks by Hamas terrorists against Israeli civilians. There is never any justification for terrorism. We stand firmly with the Government and people of Israel and extend our condolences for the Israeli lives lost in these attacks. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan has spoken to Israeli National Security Advisor Tzachi Hanegbi and we remain in close contact with our Israeli partners."
Biden later posted his own condemnation of the attacks, saying:
"This morning, I spoke with Prime Minister Netanyahu about the horrific and ongoing attacks in Israel. The United States unequivocally condemns this appalling assault against Israel by Hamas terrorists from Gaza, and I made clear to Prime Minister Netanyahu that we stand ready to offer all appropriate means of support to the Government and people of Israel. Terrorism is never justified. Israel has a right to defend itself and its people. The United States warns against any other party hostile to Israel seeking advantage in this situation. My Administration’s support for Israel’s security is rock solid and unwavering."
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