US President Joe Biden's unflinching backing of Israel's military response to attacks by Palestinian fighters over the weekend could give Israel the green light to commit mass atrocities in Gaza against Palestinians - including potential genocide and ethnic cleansing - political analysts have warned.
On Saturday morning, Palestinian groups in Gaza launched a surprise attack on Israel, breaking out of the blockaded enclave and attacking a number of Israeli kibbutzim while taking captives back into Gaza. Israel responded with a large-scale bombing campaign and appears to be readying itself for a potential ground invasion of Gaza, which hasn't happened since 2014.
So far, at least 1,100 Palestinians and 1,200 Israelis have been killed, with a large number of civilians on both sides. Nearly one-third of those killed in Gaza are children.
In his public address on Tuesday, Biden described the actions of Hamas, the Palestinian armed group leading its attack on Israel, as "sheer evil", and said that the US stands behind Israel and will provide it whatever it needs to attack Gaza.
"We will make sure Israel has what it needs to take care of its citizens, defend itself, and respond to this attack," Biden said.
"Let there be no doubt. The United States has Israel's back. We'll make sure the Jewish and democratic state of Israel can defend itself today, tomorrow, as we always have."
And while the US has always supported Israel in previous incursions and attacks on Palestinians, a number of concerned experts say this time is completely different.
"What's different now is that the president and congress have provided the greenest of possible green lights to enable Israel to do anything that it wants to do up to and including genocide," Josh Ruebner, a political analyst, told Middle East Eye.
"Make no mistake about it, by providing 100 percent backing for any action that Israel takes in the Gaza Strip, President Biden is complicit in Israel's commission of war crimes, and potentially much, much worse," Ruebner, who is also the author of Shattered Hopes: Obama’s Failure to Broker Israeli-Palestinian Peace, said.
US Senator Lindsey Graham said clearly and unequivocally in an interview aired on Fox News that "we are fighting a religious war, and I am on Israel's side".
Graham's message to Israel was: "Do whatever it takes. Raze this place to the ground."
And nearly 400 members of US Congress signed a measure introduced on Tuesday, in which it condemned Hamas for its attack on Israel and gave complete support for Israel's right to defend itself.
"Lawmakers on the left and on the right, from Lindsey Graham to Ritchie Torres, are using this opportunity to viciously demonise Palestinians in order to drum up anti-Palestinian hatred that will give Israel cover to commit unspeakable crimes right in front of our eyes," Tariq Kenney-Shawa, a US policy fellow for Al-Shabaka, told MEE.
"Israel is hellbent on exterminating Palestinians in Gaza, and it knows no one will get in between them and what they see as their divine objective."