Former Vice President Mike Pence said Sunday that Israeli forces conducting a ground invasion into Gaza is necessary to eliminate Hamas in its war against the militant group.
During an appearance on NBC’s “Meet The Press,” Pence told moderator Kristen Welker that bipartisan support for Israel is important during this time, noting that Hamas’s attack on Israel “was the most brutal assault on the Jewish people since the Holocaust.”
“I think it’s important that American leaders in both parties speak with one voice … The world needs to know this: America stands with Israel,” Pence said.
“And we need to stand with Israel as they prepare to do what needs to be done, which is going to require a ground invasion,” he continued. “They’re going to have to hunt down and destroy Hamas once and for all.”
Pence, a 2024 GOP presidential hopeful, also told Welker that he would’ve sent American troops on the ground in Gaza to assist their Israeli allies. Pence detailed how he would direct them to help the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) with the ongoing hostage situation.
The U.S. announced Friday that it had secured the release of two Americans taken hostage by Hamas during its terror attack against Israel, adding that Qatar and Israel helped with the release of the mother and daughter duo.
“I mean, look, I welcome the release of two American hostages this week. I’m grateful for that. But going hat in hand to Qatar and standing by while Hamas decides whether they’re going to release another hostage is totally unaccepted,” Pence told Welker.
“We are the leader of the free world. We are Israel’s strongest ally on the planet. We need to send a message to Hamas that, ‘You need to turn those hostages back over, or you’ll answer not just to Israeli Defense Forces, but you’ll answer to the United States Armed Forces.’”
Pence’s remarks come as Hamas, which is recognized as a terrorist organization by the U.S., launched an attack on Israel nearly two weeks ago that left 1,400 people dead. Most of those killed were civilians.
In response, Israel launched retaliatory attacks on Gaza, an area controlled by Hamas, that have killed at least 4,385 Palestinians and wounded 13,561 others, according to the Gaza Health Ministry.
President Biden announced last week that he sent an urgent budget request to Congress for additional aid to Ukraine and Israel, which is expected to amount to $100 billion.
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