Sen. Ted Cruz, Texas Republican, accused Rep. Ilhan Omar, Minnesota Democrat, of “acting as the press secretary for Hamas” after she charged Israel with committing “an act of terrorism.”
“Why is a Member of Congress acting as the press secretary for Hamas?” Mr. Cruz tweeted late Monday. “Does Biden agree?”
His response came after Ms. Omar tweeted: “Israeli air strikes killing civilians in Gaza is an act of terrorism” after Israel responded Monday to a flurry of Hamas rocket attacks directed at Jerusalem with airstrikes on Hamas targets in Gaza.
“Palestinians deserve protection,” tweeted Ms. Omar. “Unlike Israel, missile defense programs, such as Iron Dome, don’t exist to protect Palestinian civilians. “It’s unconscionable to not condemn these attacks on the week of Eid.”
Also blasting Israel was Rep. Rashida Tlaib, Michigan Democrat, who called Israel “the apartheid state” and said that “taxpayer money is being used to committed human rights violations.”
“I was 7 years old when I first prayed at the Al Aqsa with my sity. It’s a sacred site for Muslims,” she tweeted, referring to her grandmother. “This is equivalent to attacking the Church of the Holy Sepulchre for Christians, or the Temple Mount for Jews. Israel attacks it during Ramadan. Where’s the outrage @POTUS?’
The air raids came after weeks of escalating tension between Palestinians and Israeli forces in the Old City of Jerusalem.
Not all Democrats were critical of Israel. Andrew Yang, a Democratic candidate for New York City mayor, denounced the “Hamas terrorists.”
“I’m standing with the people of Israel who are coming under bombardment attacks, and condemn the Hamas terrorists,” Mr. Yang tweeted. “The people of NYC will always stand with our brothers and sisters in Israel who face down terrorism and persevere.”
Mr. Cruz also expressed strong support for Israel.
“The United States must stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the people and government of Israel,” he said. “I will work with my colleagues to ensure they have the support they need as they defend their sovereignty and respond to these attacks.”