By: Casey Harper | The Center Square
The Iranian-backed terrorist group Hamas killed hundreds of Israelis and injured hundreds more in a barrage of surprise attacks early Saturday morning, just weeks after the Biden administration authorized $6 billion to the group’s biggest backer: Iran.
The Hamas attack included a combination of thousands of missiles fired into Israel as well as Hamas terrorists who infiltrated Israel, killing and capturing civilians, according to reports from multiple news outlets and relevant governments.
Iranian foreign ministry spokesperson Nasser Kanani praised Hamas after the attack.
Immediately after the attacks, President Joe Biden took fire for releasing billions of dollars to Iran, a known backer of Hamas that funnels money to the terrorist group.
“Just weeks ago, the Biden administration handed over $6 billion to Iran, and today, innocent Israelis were murdered by Iran-backed Hamas terrorists,” Sen. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., said in a statement after the attacks. “We must continue to support our strongest ally in the Middle East and their right to defend themselves against these unprovoked, horrific attacks. I stand with Israel and join many around the world in praying for the safety and security of its people.”
The Biden administration told Congress last month it released the billions of dollars that had been held up by U.S. sanctions as well as releasing five Iranian nationals detained in the U.S. in exchange for the release of five Americans detained in Iran.
“Biden’s decision to release $6 billion in frozen assets to Iran serves as a stark reminder of the consequences that took place following the Iran Nuclear Agreement under the Obama/Biden administration,” Rep. Cory Mills, R-Fla., wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter. “This pattern is clear: each time funds are released to Iran, the largest state sponsor of terrorism, proxy militias in the region persistently launch attacks, aiming to destabilize and target Western allies and Americans.
“Examining the precision and coordination of the recent attack, it’s highly plausible that the recent $6 billion, in addition to the many more billions made available to Iran after Biden lifted sanctions, provided the necessary funding to execute this assault,” Mills added.
U.S. Treasury Under Secretary Brian Nelson said on X that the funds that were part of the September deal had not yet been spent and were reserved for humanitarian purposes only. Critics quickly pointed out that the money is fungible, and Iran’s knowledge of the coming money could have impacted how it spent other funds not under the U.S.’ watch.
“All of the money held in restricted accounts in Doha as part of the arrangement to secure the release of 5 Americans in September remains in Doha,” he said. “Not a penny has been spent.”
President Joe Biden addressed the attacks before reporters on Saturday.
“You know, when I spoke with Prime Minister Netanyahu this morning, I told him the United States stands with the people of Israel in the face of this terrorist assaults,” Biden said. “Israel has the right to defend itself and its people. Full stop. There is never justification for terrorist acts. And my administration’s support for Israel’s security is rock solid and unwavering.”