Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) on Tuesday declared that “we’re in a religious war” and called for Israel to “level” the Gaza Strip, home to over 2 million people, including about 1 million children.
“We’re in a religious war here. I am with Israel. Do whatever the hell you have to do to defend yourself. Level the place,” Graham said on Fox News. The hawkish senator posted a clip of his call for the destruction of Gaza on X.
Since Hamas launched an attack on southern Israel, Graham has been leading the charge in the US, calling for major escalations. On Monday, he said the US should bomb Iran if Hamas kills Israelis it has captured and brought into Gaza.
“For every Israeli or American hostage executed by Hamas, we should take down an Iranian oil refinery,” Graham said. “The only way you’re gonna keep this war from escalating is to hold Iran accountable.”
Graham has said Iran was involved in the Hamas even though the Israeli military has said it has no evidence to support the claim. Hamas and Iran have also denied any Iranian involvement in the operation.
“I am confident this was planned and funded by the Iranians,” he added. “Hamas is a bunch of animals who deserve to be treated like animals … If I was Israel, I would go in on the ground. There is no truce to be had here. I would dismantle Hamas.”