State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller (Image Source: Department of State YouTube video screenshot)
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Reporters had a meltdown on Tuesday when a State Department spokesperson declared that Israel has a right to defend itself from the recent brutal terrorist attacks carried out by Hamas.
The terrorist organization has reportedly killed more than 1,000 people, including women and children. Another 150 people are believed to have been taken hostage by the group.
Department spokesperson Matthew Miller held a press conference on Tuesday expressing condolences for the families with loved ones killed by Hamas over the weekend, including 14 American citizens.
Following his opening remarks, Miller opened the floor to field reporters' questions but was shocked by some of the inquiries, which he claimed seemed to disregard Israel's right to defend itself from terror attacks.
Said Arikat, a reporter for the Palestinian media outlet Al-Quds, asked Miller, "The president has said that Hamas is motivated — and I'm paraphrasing — motivated solely by the quest to kill Jews. Do you believe that is to be the case? Is it the assessment of this government that Hamas' sole motivation is to go out and kill Jews? There's no context; there's no siege that has gone on for 16 years? There is no raid after raid by the Israelis?"
Miller responded, "Said, I am just going to say that is a bit of a surprising question after what we saw a Hamas carry out this weekend, when we saw Hamas go in and deliberately target Israeli citizens — and not just soldiers in the [Israel Defense Forces] but women, children, kidnapped them."
The State Department spokesperson noted that Hamas is "behaving in the most inhumane way possible."
Said attempted to interrupt Miller several times, but the State Department spokesperson ignored the reporter and moved on to others' inquiries.
Reporter Max Blumenthal with the Grayzone News pressed Miller on the strong language used by Israeli leaders regarding potential counterstrike plans.
Miller stated that Israel is expected to follow international law and added that the Biden administration is likely to disagree with some comments made by Israeli leadership but plans to "make those known privately."
Blumenthal snapped back, noting that the administration has made public comments previously.
"Some of the questions I'm getting today do seem to ignore the fact that Israel just had hundreds of its citizens killed, people who were taken hostage, and pretend that Israel shouldn't be able to conduct any kind of —" Miller retorted.
Blumenthal repeatedly shouted over Miller, asking him to acknowledge the deaths of Palestinian children. Journalist Sam Husseini also shouted over the State Department spokesperson.
At one point, Miller was asked, "So baby killing is okay here?"
"And I will say, ultimately, the Hamas terrorists who launched these operations — there is no one who has more disregard for Palestinian civilian life than those terrorists," Miller continued. "Those terrorists launched this activity knowing that there would be retaliation, knowing that Israel would have to defend itself, as any country did, knowing that it would lead to the unfortunate loss of civilian lives by their — by Palestinians, and they did anyway."
Department of State Daily Press Briefing - October 10, 2023 - 1:15 PMwww.youtube.com
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Candace Hathaway is a staff writer for Blaze News.