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Majority Leader Schumer Statement Following Tonight’s Briefing On The Attacks On Israel And Announcing A Classified All-Senators Briefing This Week

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today released the following statement after he took part in an unclassified briefing following the attacks by Hamas on Israel this weekend. Invited to the briefing were Senate Leaders and Whips, and the Chair and Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, the Senate Committee on Armed Services, and the Senate Committee on Appropriations, including the Subcommittees on Defense and on Foreign Operations. The Senators were briefed by Acting Deputy Secretary of State, Toria Nuland and Acting Undersecretary of Defense for Policy, Sasha Baker.

“I was briefed this evening by senior national security and State Department officials in the Biden administration. I expressed my outrage at what happened in Israel. The viciousness and brutality of this unprecedented attack from Hamas targeting innocent civilians — children, families, seniors — is overwhelming and heart wrenching. 

“I asked the representatives of our Defense Department if they are giving Israel everything they need, and I was heartened that they said yes and that they are surging support.  I asked them if they have denied any requests that Israel has made, and they said no.  I urged them to ensure Israel has everything it needs to protect itself, and reiterated that the Senate stands ready to deliver on additional needs.

“Unfortunately, we know there are Americans who were killed.  The Administration told us that they know of four thus far, but, sadly, we know the toll will rise. 

“I told senators that we will try to hold a classified briefing they can receive in their states as soon as possible so we can get additional details that could not be disclosed on this call.  

“The Administration said they are keeping a careful eye on Iran and keeping all pressure on them and their proxies to ensure the situation does not expand.  I will continue to stay in close contact with Biden Administration national security officials as well as senior members of the Israeli government and monitor this situation on an ongoing basis.