Former President TrumpDonald TrumpJan. 6 panel faces double-edged sword with Alex Jones, Roger Stone Trump goes after Woodward, Costa over China Republicans seem set to win the midterms — unless they defeat themselves MORE seized on escalating violence in Israel on Tuesday to lament that President BidenJoe BidenSouth Africa health minister calls travel bans over new COVID variant 'unjustified' Biden attends tree lighting ceremony after day out in Nantucket Senior US diplomat visiting Southeast Asia to 'reaffirm' relations MORE's foreign policy has contributed to the ongoing unrest.
"When I was in office we were known as the Peace Presidency, because Israel’s adversaries knew that the United States stood strongly with Israel and there would be swift retribution if Israel was attacked," Trump said in a statement issued through his political action committee.
His comments came as a barrage of rockets were seen over Israel, including near Tel Aviv, following reports that Israeli missile fire caused the collapse of a 12-story building in the Gaza Strip.
"Under Biden, the world is getting more violent and more unstable because Biden’s weakness and lack of support for Israel is leading to new attacks on our allies," Trump said. "America must always stand with Israel and make clear that the Palestinians must end the violence, terror, and rocket attacks, and make clear that the U.S. will always strongly support Israel’s right to defend itself."
The former president helped broker the Abraham Accords, a first-of-its-kind agreement for diplomatic relations between Israel, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. The Trump administration also moved the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, a move that was met with widespread criticism from global leaders due to the holy city's disputed status.
Trump weighed in on the ongoing violence for the first time Tuesday as news reports showed a cascade of rockets raining down in Israel, including ones intercepted by its Iron Dome, near and around Tel Aviv that the Israeli Defense Forces said came from Hamas militants in Gaza. Videos also showed missile fire striking a building in the Gaza Strip that The Associated Press and Reuters reported housed offices used by Hamas political leadership.
The escalation is considered to be some of the most intense fighting between Israel and Hamas, a U.S.-designated terrorist organization, since the 2014 war.
Biden has yet to weigh in publicly on the situation. Press secretary Jen PsakiJen PsakiRussian military buildup puts Washington on edge White House looks to rein in gas prices ahead of busy travel season Biden: Guilty verdicts in Arbery case 'not enough' MORE told reporters just before Trump's statement was released that Biden was being briefed on the matter. Psaki said U.S. officials have "spoken candidly" with Israeli leaders about concerns regarding the eviction of Palestinian families in east Jerusalem, which has spurred protests over the last several weeks.
"The president's support for Israel's security, for its legitimate right to defend itself and its people is, fundamental and will never waiver. We condemn ongoing rocket attacks by Hamas and other terrorist groups, including against Jerusalem," Psaki said. "We also condemn extremism that has inflicted violence on both communities."
"The president and his team will continue to pursue conditions for diplomacy, dialogue and de-escalation and protection of civilians, even as we work together with our friends to deter acts of violence and terrorism," she added.