Kamala Harris condemns terrorism in first public remarks about Israel

October 11, 2023

In her first remarks since Hamas’ attack on Israel Saturday, Vice President Harris condemned “extreme acts of terrorism” on Wednesday. 

“Needless to say, I’m completely outraged by what has taken place. We are looking at extreme acts of terrorism that must be condemned in no uncertain terms,” Harris said while visiting South Carolina as part of her “Fight for Freedoms” college tour.

She added that “there is absolutely no justification for terrorism. The President and I take very seriously our commitment to Israel, to the people of Israel, to support them and in particular to give Israel what it needs to defend itself.”

Harris echoed President Biden in stating that one of the Biden Administration’s “highest priorities, of course, is the safety and well-being of American citizens.”

The Vice President’s remarks came as Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who’s traveling to Israel, told reporters that at least 22 Americans had been killed in the Israeli-Hamas conflict since Saturday and “that number can still go up and it probably will.” He added that the Administration was working to secure the whereabouts of Americans still missing, including securing their release if they’ve been taken hostage by Hamas in Gaza.

White House press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre told reporters during the daily White House press briefing on Wednesday that 17 Americans remain unaccounted for.

In her remarks ahead of boarding Air Force Two, Harris reiterated, “It is also critically important that, as we have been, we will stay in constant communication and contact with our allies, with our Israeli partners, with members of Congress, as we have been doing in these last few days.”

She noted that she was on the call earlier in the day with President Biden and Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu. “[It] now one of many calls that have taken place, to restate our commitment, that is unwavering, to stand with Israel and the Israeli people,” the Vice President said. 

PHOTO: Kamala Harris in South Carolina Wednesday

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