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Trump says Hamas' Oct 7 attack was horrible, but Israel should wrap up war

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JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said he would have reacted the same way Israel did after Hamas' Oct. 7 attack, but that Israel was losing international support and should wrap up its war against the Islamist group in Gaza.

Hamas' killing spree through southern Israel, Trump said, was "one of the saddest things I've ever seen."

"That being said, you have to finish up your war. You have to finish it up, you got to get it done," he said.

The former U.S. president made the comments in an interview with Israeli newspaper Israel Hayom published on Monday. A video of the interview was posted on the newspaper's website.

The Oct. 7 attack sparked the war in Gaza that has raged for nearly half a year. Israel says its offensive will continue until Hamas is destroyed and its hostages in Gaza are released.

Israel's intent to expand its operation into the southern Gaza city of Rafah, where over a million Palestinians are sheltering, has caused a rift with the Biden administration, which has said that doing so would be a mistake.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday said he will not send a delegation to discuss the planned Rafah operation to Washington after the United States refrained from vetoing a U.N. Security Council proposal calling for a ceasefire in Gaza.

Trump was also asked how he would have reacted had his family been victims of Hamas' rampage.

"I would say I would act very much the same way as you did. You'd have to be crazy not too. Only a fool would not do that. That was a horrible attack," he said. "It bothers me so much when I see people, they don't talk about Oct. 7 anymore, they talk about how aggressive Israel is."

The Hamas-led attack killed 1,200 people and resulted in more than 250 being taken hostage, according to Israeli tallies. Since then, Israel’s assault on Gaza has killed more than 32,000 people, according to Hamas-run health authorities in Gaza.

(Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch, Editing by William Maclean)