By COLlive, IsraelNationalNews.com & JewishInsider.com
US President Donald Trump on Sunday blasted Hamas and the Islamic Jihad over their continued rocket attacks on southern Israel.
“Once again, Israel faces a barrage of deadly rocket attacks by terrorist groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad. We support Israel 100% in its defense of its citizens,” Trump tweeted.
He also directly turned to the people of Gaza in a second tweet and urged them to work towards peace.
“To the Gazan people — these terrorist acts against Israel will bring you nothing but more misery. END the violence and work towards peace – it can happen!” he wrote.
Once again, Israel faces a barrage of deadly rocket attacks by terrorist groups Hamas and Islamic Jihad. We support Israel 100% in its defense of its citizens….
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 6, 2019
Trump’s comments follow a tweet by Vice President Mike Pence, who expressed support for Israel’s right to defend itself against the ongoing rocket attacks on the south.
“We strongly condemn the attacks in Gaza by Hamas terrorists. Israel has the absolute right to defend itself & the U.S. stands by our great ally Israel,” Pence tweeted.
On Saturday, the State Department condemned the rocket fire on southern Israel and expressed support for Israel’s right to self-defense.
“The United States strongly condemns the ongoing barrage of rocket attacks by Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad from Gaza upon innocent civilians and their communities across Israel,” said a statement by State Department spokesperson Morgan Ortagus.
“We call on those responsible for the violence to cease this aggression immediately. We stand with Israel and fully support its right to self-defense against these abhorrent attacks,” added the statement.
Interestingly, Democratic leaders in Washington remained silent about the ongoing attacks which already claimed the lives of 4 Israeli citizens and injured dozens more.
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, who likes to call himself “shomer Yisrael” (defender of Israel) has been silent so far on Twitter, while Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi tweeted about “the Holy month of Ramadan.”
Democratic candidates for president, among them Cory Booker, have also not tweeted their support at this time. Senator Bernie Sanders did tweet: “Ramadan Mubarak to all our Muslim sisters, brothers and friends. May it be a month of much peace and joy.”
UPDATE (Monday): Former US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley tweeted: “Imagine if 600 rockets had been fired into the US or any other country besides Israel. What country would not defend itself? Every Presidential candidate needs to weigh in on their thoughts on this attack. Go ahead….we’ll wait.”
Jewish Insider reported that Schumer sent them a direct message in support of Israel, but the senator did not post it publically.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) stated that, “The United States Congress, in a bipartisan fashion, stands strongly in support of our ally Israel and its right to protect its citizens from terror.”
In a joint statement, Reps. Eliot Engel (D-NY), Brad Schneider (D-IL), Nita Lowey (D-NY), Ted Deutch (D-FL) and Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ) condemned the “outrageous, indiscriminate rocket attacks” and proclaimed that “Israel has a right and responsibility to defend itself and its citizens militarily from further violence.”
Meanwhile, Congresswoman Ilhan Omar (D-MN) criticized Israel’s response to the rocket fire, blaming the escalation on the situation in Gaza. “How many more protesters must be shot, rockets must be fired, and little kids must be killed until the endless cycle of violence ends?” she asked on Twitter on Sunday evening. “The status quo of occupation and humanitarian crisis in Gaza is unsustainable. Only real justice can bring about security and lasting peace.”
And Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib (D-MI) slammed a New York Times headline that framed the flare-up as initiated by Hamas. “When will the world stop dehumanizing our Palestinian people who just want to be free?” Tlaib tweeted. “Headlines like this & framing it in this way just feeds into the continued lack of responsibility on Israel who unjustly oppress & target Palestinian children and families.”