WASHINGTON (Nexstar) — President Biden was in Israel on Wednesday to meet with the prime minister and war cabinet. He expressed staunch support for Israel, but also concern for innocent Palestinians.
Biden’s visit to Tel Aviv is a historic one, as the Israeli prime minister hasn’t allowed any other U.S. President to visit Israel in a time of war.
“Thank you for standing with Israel today, tomorrow and always,” said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Biden strongly condemned the Hamas terrorist attack and U.S. officials announced plans for new aid to Israel.
“The brutality we saw we have cut deep anywhere in the world, but it cuts deeper here in Israel,” Biden said. “I’m going to ask the United States Congress for an unprecedented support package for Israel’s defense.”
“We know that virtually every Israeli has been touched by the bloody hand of Hamas,” added Secretary of State Anthony Blinken.
Biden also said the U.S. is “pursuing every avenue to bring home those who are being held captive by Hamas.”
Additionally, Biden expressed concern for innocent Palestinian civilians in Gaza who are being devastated by the war including the hundreds who were killed or injured in an explosion at a Gaza hospital.
“What sets us apart from the terrorists, is we believe in the fundamental dignity of every human life,” Biden said. “The United States unequivocally stands for the protection of civilian life during conflict.”
Hamas blames Israel for targeting the hospital. But Israel says the blast was caused by a malfunctioning rocket fired by militant groups in Gaza.
During Biden’s visit, Israel announced an agreement to allow limited humanitarian aid into Gaza through Egypt, including $100 million in aid from the U.S.
Biden also said Israel agreed not to block deliveries of food, water and medicine to civilians in the south of Gaza.