Donald Trump took a solidly pro-Israel stance Tuesday amid an escalation of deadly Mideast violence, as the former US president accused successor Joe Biden of “weakness” and lack of support for the Jewish state.
“Under Biden, the world is getting more violent and more unstable because Biden’s weakness and lack of support for Israel is leading to new attacks on our allies,” Trump said in a statement.
Hailing his own administration as “the Peace Presidency,” Trump said Israel’s adversaries knew there would be “swift retribution if Israel was attacked” when he was the US president.
“America must always stand with Israel and make clear that the Palestinians must end the violence, terror, and rocket attacks, and make clear that the US will always strongly support Israel’s right to defend itself.”
The violence has killed at least 28 Palestinians in the blockaded Gaza Strip and three Israelis.
Several nights of clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli police, particularly around the flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque compound, spiraled on Monday night into a barrage of Islamist rocket fire from Gaza and deadly Israeli air strikes in retaliation.
The Biden administration on Tuesday called for calm and restraint by Israel and the Palestinians, and urged both sides to avoid “deeply lamentable” civilian deaths.
But “Israel does have a right to defend itself,” State Department spokesman Ned Price told reporters.