At the White House, Biden called the Hamas attacks “an act of sheer evil” and said Washington was rushing additional military assistance to Israel, including ammunition and interceptors to replenish the Iron Dome aerial defence system.
He urged Israel to follow the “law of war” and said the US had strengthened its presence in the region by moving an aircraft carrier strike group and fighter aircraft.
“Let me say again to any country, any organization, anyone thinking of taking advantage of the situation, I have one word: Don’t,” said Biden, in an assumed reference to Iran and its proxies.
US officials say they do not have evidence Iran orchestrated the attacks, but point to its long-term support for Hamas.
Former Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal called for protests across the Arab world on Friday in support of the Palestinians.
With Israel on a war footing, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s right wing coalition and opposition leaders were close to forming an emergency unity government.
Countries including Fiji, South Korea, Denmark, the Czech Republic and Canada scrambled to evacuate citizens from Israel, many stranded after major airlines cancelled flights.
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