Pentagon Vows Commitment To Israel’s Defense Against ‘ISIS-Level Savagery’

The Pentagon compared Hamas, a terrorist group that murdered and kidnapped hundreds of Israeli civilians over the weekend, to the brutal Islamic State group (ISIS) on Monday.

A senior defense official reaffirmed Israel’s right to defend itself against Hamas, which launched a surprise incursion into Israel on Saturday targeting civilians as well as Israel Defense Forces positions, in a background call with reporters Monday. The official emphasized that the situation diverged from previous clashes between Israel’s military and the militant group based in Gaza, noting that Hamas intentionally carried out “ISIS-style tactics and techniques.”

“This is ISIS-level savagery and we back Israel and its right to respond to ensure that its own citizens and its territory are safe from Hamas terror,” the official said.

“There’s been an instinct to see this as the same kind of tensions and conflict that we’ve seen,” the official said. “This is different. It’s unprecedented. — Hamas militants going across Israel murdering children in front of their parents, massacring civilians with indiscriminate violence.” (RELATED: Netanyahu Vows Israeli Response To Hamas Attack Will ‘Echo For Generations’)

The U.S. government is constantly communicating with Israeli counterparts about issues including the situation of the hostages, the official said.

ISIS became known for publishing gory videos of hostage executions online — something Hamas has threatened to do — to garner attention. ISIS terrorists brutally murdering civilians and used them as human shields as the group sought to expand its hold on territory across the Levant.

In Saturday’s attack, Hamas terrorists went door-to-door pulling civilians out of their homes, launched rockets at a desert festival and took dozens of hostages. Images and videos of the violence viewed by the Daily Caller News Foundation showed bloodied bodies of family members slumped in their cars, victim of Hamas shootings. Women were raped and women and children murdered or taken prisoner.

Israeli officials estimate that Hamas militants killed 700 Israeli civilians on Saturday alone. Fighting to expel the fighters from Israel’s neighborhoods extended through Sunday.

At least four hostages have been killed, CNN reported.

108 bodies discovered in Kibbutz Be’eri: women, children, entire families. That’s 10% of the town’s residents. Let the world know.

— Eli Kowaz (@elikowaz) October 9, 2023

The U.S. is working to expedite shipments of weapons and defense equipment already ordered for Israel and is scouring U.S. Central Command stockpiles for any available inventory, the official said. In addition, the U.S.S. Gerald R. Ford carrier strike group is heading to the region in hopes of dissuading other Iran-backed militant groups from getting involved.

Responding to a question of civilian casualties in Gaza following Israeli strikes on Hamas positions, the official said the U.S. holds Israel to the same standards it does other countries that receive U.S. military aid in seeking to minimize loss.

“That’s absolutely something that Hamas did not do,” the official said.

The Biden administration estimates that at least 11 U.S. citizens have been killed. It is unknown whether any were among the hostages.

The U.S. government is constantly communicating with Israeli counterparts about issues including the situation of the hostages, the official said.

“We should not question the commitment of the U.S. government to support the defense of Israel,” the official said.

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