White House Press Secretary: Gazans are suffering because of Hamas

Jen Psaki: Israel has the right to self-defense. Our focus remains de-escalating the situation on the ground.

Elad Benari, Canada ,

Jen Psaki
Jen Psaki

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki on Friday repeatedly condemned Hamas during her daily press briefing, pointing out that Palestinian Arab civilians are “suffering as a result” of Hamas terrorists.

“As the president conveyed in his statement, Israel has the right to self-defense. Our focus remains on continuing to use every lever at our disposal to de-escalate the situation on the ground. I think it’s also important to remind people, Hamas is a terrorist organization,” Psaki said, as quoted by The New York Post.

“Hamas does not represent the views, the families, the people who are suffering — all of the Palestinian people who are suffering as a result of this violence. But there’s no justification for 1,500 rockets coming from Hamas into Israeli community — communities in Israel either,” she added.

On President Joe Biden’s unlocking of $75 million in aid to Palestinian Arabs, Psaki said the move was for humanitarian purposes.

“That was humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian people. Again, Hamas is a terrorist organization. The Palestinian people are also suffering as a result of the actions of this terrorist organization and the steps — the rockets that they have launched into Israel,” she said, according to The New York Post.

Earlier this week, President Joe Biden spoke with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and told him that “Israel has a right to defend itself when you have thousands of rockets flying into your territory.”

On Tuesday, US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan spoke with Israeli National Security Advisor Meir Ben Shabbat.

According to a statement from the White House, Sullivan “condemned the ongoing rocket attacks by Hamas and other terrorist groups, including against Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. He conveyed the President’s unwavering support for Israel’s security and for its legitimate right to defend itself and its people, while protecting civilians.”

Sullivan “also conveyed the United States’ encouragement of steps toward restoring a sustainable calm. They agreed to continue to stay in close touch,” said a statement from the White House.

Meanwhile on Friday, Deputy Assistant US Secretary for Israel-Palestinian Affairs, Hady Amr, arrived in Israel to discuss the latest escalation the ongoing rocket fire from Gaza towards Israeli cities.

The State Department said that he will hold talks with Israeli and Palestinian Arab officials to try to restore sustainable calm.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)