First Read

DeSantis says he'd protect Americans 'in harm's way' in Israel

On Fox News, the governor also says Iran 'funded and orchestrated' this weekend's attacks.

DeSantis greets guests during a campaign event Oct. 8 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

DeSantis greets guests during a campaign event Oct. 8 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is continuing his hawkish stand on the Gaza-based militants and terrorists who attacked Israel this past weekend. The conflict has so far claimed 1,200 Israelis and 22 Americans, USA Today reported, “while desperation swept across Gaza as (Israel’s) response to the brutal attack by Hamas left neighborhoods destroyed, homes dark and hospitals low on medical supplies.”

DeSantis, speaking with Martha MacCallum on Fox News on Wednesday, also continued to blame Iran for organizing the attack. MacCallum asked him what he’d be doing to “protect U.S. service members who may become potential targets of some of these terrorists,” referring to military bases around the region, including in Jordan and Saudi Arabia. 

The governor pivoted in his answer, saying he “would protect the American citizens who are potentially being held captive or in harm's way. That is a responsibility of the commander-in-chief.” He added: “We don't know how many Americans are being held hostage, but we have forces that are dedicated to that. We would definitely do that. And then you take whatever appropriate action there is” in the Middle East. 

“I would say, though, those types of groups” – mentioning Hamas in Gaza and Hezbollah in Lebanon as examples – when they come “in direct contact with U.S. troops, they typically don't fare very well. They would be trying to do some type of sneak attack like they did with the Beirut barracks bombing in 1983, which, by the way, was also funded and orchestrated by Iran,” he said. 

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