11/09/2023 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 11/09/2023 15:12
Washington, D.C. - Today, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Michael McCaul gave the following remarks at a full committee hearing discussing the circumstances surrounding Hamas' unprovoked attack on Israel, Israel's response, United States support to Israel, and the potential for broader regional conflict and terrorist attacks against U.S. interests.
- Remarks as Delivered -
On Saturday, October 7, Israelis awoke to rockets raining down on them from Gaza and Hamas terrorists breaking down their doors. They were invading their homes, brutally murdering over 1,400 people, including over 30 Americans.
Hamas terrorists killed babies and toddlers. They killed grandmothers and grandfathers. They killed moms and dads, teenage kids in their homes - no one was spared.
Innocent civilians, slaughtered because of their ancestry and their faith.
At least 241 people were taken hostage by Hamas terrorists and are still being held in Gaza.
In one of the most horrific stories to emerge, a pregnant woman had her baby cut out of her and murdered in front her before they shot her in the head.
October 7th was the deadliest day for the Jewish people since the Holocaust.
I was in one of the Kibbutzes right on the border of Gaza last year meeting with members of the community.
I saw their daycare center and the children.
That very same kibbutz was overrun by 70 Hamas terrorists. Many of the residents I met were slaughtered.
But most viciously, the babies and the children I visited in the daycare center were slaughtered, shot to death, beheaded, burned alive.
Just yesterday, this committee unanimously passed a resolution demanding that Hamas release the hostages.
The House also held a bipartisan vigil on the Capitol steps marking one month since the October 7th massacre.
What the world has seen at the bloody hands of Hamas is simply unfathomable. The depravity of these terrorists knows no bounds.
But, let me be clear, all roads lead to Iran, their fingerprints are all over this attack.
They have consistently funded Hamas and other Palestinian terrorist groups to the tune of 100 million dollars per year.
We are witnessing, in real time, Hamas carry out their covenant from 1988, which states, "Israel will exist and will continue to exist until Islam will obliterate it, just as it obliterated others before it."
And now it is not just Hamas.
Hezbollah is launching near daily attacks on northern Israel.
The Houthis have launched multiple attacks against Israel. And Iran's proxies in Iraq and Syria have launched at least 41 attacks on U.S. troops since October the 7th.
Simply put, the Middle East is on fire.
I am grateful to Assistant Secretary Leaf and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Stroul for appearing before us here today.
It is critical we discuss this dangerous, urgent situation, and the administration's response.
I have often spoken of the importance of deterrence.
The administration is positioning major defense assets in the Middle East. They include two carrier strike groups, an Ohio class nuclear submarine, air defense batteries, U.S. Air Force fighter jets, and additional U.S. servicemen and women.
We are also expediting significant arms transfers to Israel so they can defend themselves on every front that is needed.
However, deterrence is not only a show of strength, but the will to use it.
Weakness only invites aggression.
It is imperative we continue to project strength and stand united with Israel.
Now, more than ever, the world is in need of American leadership. And we need it now.