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Pence: Israel ‘Has No Choice’ But to Invade Rafah and ‘Destroy Hamas Once and for All’

Israel must move forward with an incursion into the Gaza Strip city of Rafah so that it can “hunt down and destroy Hamas once and for all,” former vice president Mike Pence will declare on Monday evening, according to an advance transcript of his remarks reviewed by the Washington Free Beacon.

“Whatever position the current administration or voices in our party take, here’s the reality: Israel has no choice but to invade Rafah and to hunt down and destroy Hamas, once and for all,” Pence will say during remarks at the Hudson Institute’s Hertog Forum this evening. “The war should end when Israel’s military goals are achieved, and not a moment sooner. And the American people will stand with Israel.”

Pence’s remarks come as the Biden administration conducts a full court press to stop Israel from entering Rafah, one of the Hamas terror group’s remaining strongholds. The U.S. administration has warned Israel that it will face repercussions if it moves forward with a ground invasion of the city, and claims the Jewish state will be responsible for civilian casualties and a worsening humanitarian disaster in the Gaza Strip.

The issue has emerged as a flashpoint between the Biden administration and Israel in recent weeks, with Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu indicating that he will not give in to U.S. pressure as Israel works to eliminate Hamas’s remaining outposts and completely dismantle the Iran-backed terror group. Pence is one of the highest profile American political figures to throw his support behind an Israeli invasion, signaling that the GOP foreign policy establishment remains supportive of Israel’s war plans.

“Instead of demanding arbitrary limitations on Israel’s military response, America should fully support Israel’s effort to eradicate Hamas in the south and secure her border from Hezbollah in the north,” Pence says in his written remarks. “Most importantly, our president should make it clear that Iran will pay a steep price if it continues to attempt to escalate the violence through its proxies in Gaza, Yemen, Lebanon, and elsewhere.”

The United States and Israel held high-level talks on Monday in which senior Biden administration officials tried to convince the Jewish state to hold back on a ground assault of Rafah. The United States maintains there are “alternative ways” for Israel to combat Hamas’s remaining strongholds.

Netanyahu, however, told Congress last week that his government has “no choice” but to invade Rafah if it is to finish eradicating the Hamas militants responsible for the Oct. 7 terror attack. Israel’s “very existence is on the line,” according to Netanyahu.

Pence, in his remarks, said the United States should continue to stand by Israel until it has completely annihilated Hamas.

“For the sake of justice, the peace of Israel and the long-term stability of the Middle East, America should have no other view,” he said. “Israel must have the support to finish the job, and end the threat posed by Hamas, Hezbollah, and their handlers in Iran once and for all. America must stand with Israel, and Israel must prevail.”

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