The Biden administration’s Office of Palestinian Affairs deleted a post advising Israel not to retaliate after Saturday’s massive attack by the Islamist group Hamas, according to multiple reports.
Hamas launched more than 3,500 rockets at Israel from the Gaza Strip in a surprise attack, followed by dozens of gunmen who entered the country and kidnapped many Israelis, according to The Associated Press.
“Israel’s national rescue service said at least 200 people were killed and 1,100 wounded, making it the deadliest attack in Israel in decades,” the AP reported.
The OPA posted a message on X — formerly Twitter — calling for “all sides to refrain from violence and retaliatory attacks” before deleting it, according to The Jerusalem Post.
“We unequivocally condemn the attack of Hamas terrorists and the loss of life that has incurred,” the deleted post stated.
“We urge all sides to refrain from violence and retaliatory attacks. Terror and violence solve nothing.”
— Eitan Fischberger (@EFischberger) October 7, 2023
“This tweet was not approved and does not represent U.S. policy,” State Department spokesman Matthew Miller told the Daily Caller News Foundation.
The OPA did not confirm or deny whether it made the post and deleted it, instead pointing the DCNF to posts by Secretary of State Antony Blinken and a White House National Security Council spokeswoman condemning the attacks.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu declared war in response to Hamas’ attack, pledging historic retaliation.
“The enemy will pay an unprecedented price,” Netanyahu stated, according to the AP. He also said that Israel will “return fire of a magnitude that the enemy has not known.”