DeSantis: Hamas Attacks on Israel Equivalent of What Happened in the U.S. on September 11

AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill

In the wake of Hamas' unprecedented attacks on Israel, Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis called out Joe Biden and Iran for their complicity and likened the attacks to the 9/11 attacks in the United States. 

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DeSantis initially responded Saturday morning with a video statement.

DeSantis said:

“Israel is now under attack. I stand with Israel. America stands with Israel. Not only do they have a right to defend themselves, they have a duty to defend themselves against these Iranian-backed Hamas terrorists. Iran has helped fund this war against Israel, and Joe Biden's policies that have gone easy on Iran has helped to fill their coffers. Israel is now paying the price for those policies. We’re going to stand with the State of Israel, they need to root out Hamas and we need to stand up to Iran.”

Later Saturday, DeSantis made more pointed remarks in response to questions from reporters.

He said, in part:

So this is the equivalent for Israel of probably what happened in the United States on September 11th. This is the -- probably the worst attack Israel's faced since the Yom Kippur War in 1973, and certainly one of the greatest attacks in the history of the modern state of Israel.

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When asked what actions he would take if he were president, DeSantis said:

I think if I were president...Iran wouldn't be in the position where they are, where they're causing such havoc. You need to put Iran in a box. They're the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism. When I served in Iraq back in 2007-2008 they were the number one source of U.S. combat deaths at the time, and we were out with the Sunni Arabs. Everyone's talking about Al-Qaeda in Iraq, and they were a problem, but we had more deaths from the Iranian-backed Shia militias during that time in Iraq....

They've been an arch-enemy of this country. Giving them relief does not work. You've gotta turn the screws on the Iranians and keep them in the box, and I would have done that on day one.

DeSantis did not advocate for direct U.S. intervention, though, saying:

Now you're in a situation where Israel is able to defend themselves. They've got a good military, they've got great technology. What they need is the moral support of the United States to say, "You defend your country. You defend your people. Defeat these terrorists."

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