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Hamas' attacks most murderous assault on Jews since Holocaust: US Congressmen

So far, over 2,000 people have been killed in Israel and the Gaza Strip in the biggest escalation in decades between the two sides.
Last Updated : 14 October 2023, 03:37 IST

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Washington: The brutal attacks by Hamas are the most murderous assault on the Jews since the Holocaust in Europe, influential lawmakers told eminent Indian-Americans who have rallied behind Israel.

Palestinian militant group Hamas carried out a barrage of air strikes in Southern Israel on last Saturday. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) in response launched multiple attacks targeting Hamas' key infrastructure. So far, over 2,000 people have been killed in Israel and the Gaza Strip in the biggest escalation in decades between the two sides.

"The terrorist attacks in Israel committed by Hamas against Israeli civilians over the last week are the most sweeping, murderous assault on Jews that have taken place since the Holocaust in Europe," Congressman Jamie Raskin told a group of Indian-Americans at an event organised by the Foundation for India and Indian Diaspora Studies (FIIDS).

Addressing a group of Indian-Americans from across the country, Ruskin said there is a need to distinguish between Hamas and the Palestinian people. 'Hamas does not speak for the Palestinian people and the Palestinian people are not responsible for the crimes of Hamas,' he said.

"We need to ruthlessly pursue and destroy Hamas and everybody who is part of it. At the same time, we respect the laws of war. As President Joe Biden has said, civilian life in the Palestinian community. Israel is our ally because it is a liberal democracy committed to the rule of law, bound by laws of war and committed to the protection of human rights and security for all people," Ruskin said.

"We are in very tough times, but we are all absolutely committed to seeing the destruction of Hamas, which has conducted these utterly savage and inhuman acts of terror on the civilian population of Israel. It's completely intolerable and Israel has an absolute right of self-defense and America stands shoulder to shoulder and arm in arm with Israel in pursuing this brutal terrorist act," Ruskin said.

Describing it as the worst attack against the Jews since Holocaust, Indian-American Congressman Shri Thanedar said there is bipartisan support for Israel.

"We are going to support Israel in every possible way to ensure that Israel is able to fight these terrorists and eliminate Hamas entirely. We cannot live through another such horror and such an attack on civilians, on people, women, men, babies.., 40 babies being headed," he said.

"These are clearly terrorists and they need to be stopped. We stand firm, no mincing of words. This is not the time to talk about anything else, not talk about a two-state solution, but just to ensure that Israel has a strong and proper response and help Israel fight this terrorism," Thanedar said.

Jason Isaacson from the American Jewish Committee applauded the Indian-American community for staying behind Israel during this crisis.

"In this extremely dark time, in this extremely threatening time, perilous time to know that our brothers and sisters in the Indian-American community are standing with us means a great deal to all of us," he said during the FIIDS event.

"I should also say that many of us have been just so struck by the immediate and heartfelt comments made by Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi just within hours I believe of the attacks last Saturday, October 7th. I've got his tweet in front of me here. 'We stand in solidarity with Israel at this difficult hour, deeply shocked by the news of terrorist attacks in Israel. Our thoughts and prayers are with the innocent victims and their families.' I think just a few days later, he tweeted again his solidarity with Israel, Israel's right to defend itself," Isaacson said.

"This is that kind of expression by the prime minister of the most populous nation on earth with an increasingly important relationship. Strategic partnership with Israel also means a great deal and was very deeply appreciated," the Jewish leader said.

Ohio State Senator Niraj Atani said 'Hamas is a network of global Islamic jihadist'.

"I do not see the Palestinian people taking up arms against Hamas. I do not see a resistance in Gaza or the West Bank against Hamas. I don't see a resistance in Lebanon against Hezbollah. All I've seen from the Palestinian people is support and sympathy for these terrorists. That is what they are. They are not militants. They are terrorists and they must be treated as such."

"And I also want to caution us, yes, this is a particular terrorist group called Hamas, but this is part of a global network of Islamic terrorists that have struck us here on 9/11 in the United States that struck India and 2008 with the Mumbai terrorist attacks where my cousin had to take shelter in the train station that was under attack as she saw her fellow Indians being killed," Atani said.

"This is a network of global Islamic jihadists. Until we can say that we cannot move forward. So Israel absolutely has the right to hunt down and kill all of these terrorists wherever they may be," he said.

Armed Hamas militants based in the Gaza Strip blasted through the Israeli security fence and streamed into Israel by land, air and sea on Saturday, in what is now described as an unprecedented attack.

Since then, the attack has killed more than 1,300 people in Israel while the Israeli counter-airstrikes have killed more than 1,530 people in Gaza. Israel has claimed roughly 1,500 Hamas militants were killed inside Israel.

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Published 14 October 2023, 03:37 IST

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