Speaking after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Thursday said that he is “incredibly grateful” to be back in Israel, "in this incredibly difficult moment, for this nation, but in fact for the entire world."
Blinken told a personal story as a Jew. He tells of his grandfather fleeing pogroms in Russia, and of his stepfather surviving concentration camps in the Holocaust, The Times of Israel reported.
"I understand on a personal level the harrowing echoes that Hamas's massacres carry for Israeli Jews, indeed for Jews everywhere," he added.
"I also come before you as a husband and father of young children. It's impossible for me to look at the photos of families killed, such as the mother, father, and three small children murdered as they sheltered in their home in Kibbutz Nir Oz, and not think of my own children," he said.
'Hamas's countless acts of terror'
"This was just one of Hamas's countless acts of terror in a litany of brutality and inhumanity that, yes, brings to mind the worst of ISIS," Blinken added.
"Babies slaughtered, bodies desecrated, young people burned alive, women raped, parents executed in front of their children, children in front of their parents."
"How are we even to understand this, to digest this?"
"And yet, at the same time that we've been shocked by the depravity of Hamas, we've also been inspired by the bravery of Israel's citizens. The grandfather who drove over an hour to a Kibbutz under siege armed only with a pistol and rescued his kids and grandkids," Blinken said.
"The mother who died shielding her teenage son with her body, giving her life to save his. Giving him life for a second time. The volunteer security teams on the kibbutzes who swiftly rallied to defend their friends and neighbours despite being heavily outnumbered."
He also noted the "remarkable solidarity" of the Israeli people, the long lines of people giving blood, the reservists who flew home from abroad, the people who opened their homes to fellow citizens displaced from the south, The Times of Israel reported.
US assures full support to Israel
"The people of Israel have long and rightly prided themselves on their self-reliance, on their ability to defend themselves even when the odds are stacked against them," Blinken continues.
"The message that I bring to Israel is this -- you may be strong enough on your own to defend yourself, but as long as America exists, you will never, ever have to. We will always be there by your side," he says.
"That's the message that President Biden delivered to the Prime Minister from the moment that this crisis began."
National emergency government
Blinken welcomed the creation of the national emergency government, and the "unity and resolve that it reflects across Israel's society."
"We are delivering on our word," says Blinken.
"Supplying ammunition interceptors to replenish Israel's Iron Dome, along other defence materiel. The first shipments of US military support have already arrived in Israel, and more is on the way. As Israel's defence needs evolve, we will work with Congress to make sure that they are met. And I can tell you there is overwhelming, overwhelming bipartisan support in our Congress for Israel's security."
America's "crystal clear" warning
Blinken repeated America's "crystal clear" warning against any and all other actors -- state or non-state -- thinking of taking advantage of the crisis to attack Israel: "Don't. The United States has Israel's back."
The US has deployed the world's largest aircraft carrier to the Eastern Mediterranean, and bolstered the presence of US fighter aircraft in the region and provided Israel with other support, he says.