White House spokesperson chokes up over ‘horrifying’ Israel attack

John Kirby became emotional during Jake Tapper interview over scenes of Hamas violence

Graeme Massie
Los Angeles
Tuesday 10 October 2023 11:29 BST
White House spokesperson John Kirby chokes up on CNN about Israel attack

White House spokesperson John Kirby choked up on CNN as he was asked about the “horrifying” images of the attack on Israel.

Mr Kirby, Coordinator for Strategic Communications at the National Security Council, became emotional as he was asked by host Jake Tapper about children abducted by Hamas and young women who had been raped.

“I err….sorry….excuse me,” said Mr Kirby, who is a retired rear admiral in the US Navy.

“It is very difficult to look at these images Jake, the human cost, and these are human beings, they are family members, loved ones, cousins, brothers, sisters… yeah it’s difficult, and I apologise.”

Tapper told Mr Kirby that he had “Nothing to say sorry for” as the pair ended their interview on Monday.

At least 900 people, most of whom are civilians, have reportedly been killed in Israel since Hamas launched its attack on Israel on Saturday. Hundreds more have been killed in Gaza, with thousands wounded.

Earlier on Monday, Israel ordered a “complete siege” on Gaza in retaliation to Hamas’s unprecedented attack.

White House spokesperson John Kirby chokes up on CNN about Israel attack
White House spokesperson John Kirby chokes up on CNN about Israel attack (CNN)

Israeli defence minister Yoav Gallant officially announced the blockade of the besieged enclave on Monday, saying authorities will cut electricity and prevent the entry of food and fuel.

Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu later said Israel has “only started” striking Hamas.

Mr Netanyahu delivered the pronouncement in a nationally televised address as Israel pressed ahead with a third day of heavy airstrikes in Gaza.

“We have only started striking Hamas,” he said. “What we will do to our enemies in the coming days will reverberate with them for generations.”

And he added: “We voice our solidarity with all the families of hostages. We have mobilised all the police forces to work on this issue.

“What is happening is reality and this is what links us to each other. Only together, we will win.

“As the prime minister, I have to tell you we have hard days coming. What has happened is very sad. But we will win.”

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