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Biden urges Israel to follow ‘rules of war’

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“BE CAREFUL”

But Biden also had a stern warning for Iran, which backs Hamas and Lebanon’s Hezbollah, and is a long-term foe of both Israel and the United States.

The president recalled that Washington had moved the world’s largest aircraft carrier, the USS Gerald R Ford, and its fleet into the region. US officials said another carrier would soon be available if needed.

Biden said he had “made it clear to the Iranians. Be careful”.

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken headed earlier Wednesday to Israel in a show of solidarity with Israel.

While fears have been growing of a regional conflagration, US officials said earlier they still had not seen any intelligence to show Iran was involved in planning or preparing the Hamas attacks.

At least 22 Americans were killed in the Hamas attacks, while an unknown number of US citizens are among an estimated 150 people – including women, children and the elderly – who were taken hostage by the militants.

The Hamas assault on Israel has raised fears of domestic attacks in the United States, and compounded concerns about a resurgence of anti-Semitism across the United States.

Biden said on Tuesday that US authorities were on alert.

“In cities across the United States of America, police departments have stepped up security around centres … of Jewish life,” Biden said.

US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan also said on Tuesday that the president would meet with his domestic security advisors later in the week.

In August, a US shooter was sentenced to death for the 2018 massacre of 11 Jewish worshippers at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh – the deadliest anti-Semitic attack on American soil.

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