Joe Biden said Wednesday he saw photos from Israel this weekend of “terrorists beheading children” – confirming Israeli soldiers’ stories of almost unimaginable horror.
Biden held a meeting with Jewish community leaders at the White House on Wednesday and said he was shocked by the brutality of the Hamas attack.
At least 1,200 Israelis were killed in Saturday’s bloodbath, which began when Hamas militants crossed into Israel from Gaza and murdered people at a music festival and in their homes near the border.
“This attack was a campaign of pure cruelty, not just hatred, but pure cruelty against the Jewish people,” Biden said.
He added: “I never thought I would see and confirm images of terrorists beheading children.”
Joe Biden is seen during a roundtable discussion with Jewish community leaders in the Indian Treaty Room at the White House on Wednesday
Hamas left a trail of destruction, including blood-soaked children’s beds, in a number of kibbutzes near the Gaza border
His comments end speculation about the veracity of the claim about beheaded children originally made by an IDF soldier, David Ben Zion, a deputy commander of the Israeli army’s Unit 71.
Ben Zion told i24 News: “We went door to door and killed a lot of terrorists. “They are very bad. They cut off children’s heads, they cut off women’s heads. But we are stronger than them.’
The IDF later said they could not confirm his account.
But Biden’s statement ended the debate.
Nicole Zedeck, the i24 News reporter who spoke with Ben Zion on Tuesday, expressed skepticism about her reporting.
“I saw some of these scenes with my own eyes as we walked through this community, which is perhaps a quarter of a mile from the Gaza border, the atrocities that still remained, children, cots, baby cribs thrown on their sides, covered in blood splattered. “Terrible, terrible images,” she told the Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show.
She said the soldiers she spoke to told her about the horrors.
“There are no words to describe what they saw,” Zedeck said.
“I mean, the babies’ heads were cut off.” That’s what they encountered when they got there.
“As horrible as it is and I wish it wasn’t true.” And I see that these images and words are hard to understand because it’s hard to understand how someone could commit such heinous, heinous crimes.
“But that’s exactly what happened in only one of the kibbutz communities.”
Biden on Wednesday called the Hamas attack on Israel “the deadliest day for Jews since the Holocaust” and a campaign of “pure cruelty,” adding again that the United States stands firmly with Israel.
The death toll currently stands at 1,200 in Israel, including 14 Americans, and another 1,100 in Gaza.
Hamas is believed to have taken 150 hostages, including Americans, and is threatening to execute them if Israel launches a ground invasion of the Gaza Strip.
Benjamin Netanyahu, the Israeli prime minister, said on Wednesday that Hamas militants beheaded soldiers and raped women in their attack on Israel.
Netanyahu described some of the atrocities that took place during the attack in a late-night televised address.
He said boys and girls were shot in the head and people were burned alive.
Netanyahu compared Hamas to ISIS and promised that Israel’s retaliation against the terror group “will reverberate with them for generations.”
Biden and Netanyahu spoke on Wednesday, marking at least the fourth phone call between Biden and Netanyahu since Saturday’s attack.
Biden said after the call that the Hamas attack was reminiscent of the Holocaust.
“This attack has brought to the surface the painful memories and scars left by a millennium of anti-Semitism and genocide against the Jewish people,” he said.
“And at this moment we must say very clearly: There is no justification for terrorism, no excuse, and the type of terrorism on display here is simply beyond the pale.”