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WATCH IN FULL: Biden Hails Cease-Fire; Promises To Replenish Iron Dome

President Joe Biden on Thursday hailed the cease-fire in the fighting between Israel and Hamas, saying he sees a “genuine opportunity” toward the larger goal of building a lasting peace in the Middle East.

Biden credited the Egyptian government with playing a crucial role in brokering the cease-fire and said he and top White House aides were intensely involved in an “hour by hour” effort to stop the bloodletting.

“I believe the Palestinians and Israelis equally deserve to live safely and securely and enjoy equal measures of freedom, prosperity and democracy,” Biden said. “My administration will continue our quiet, relentless diplomacy toward that.”

The president spoke soon after Israel and Hamas announced a cease-fire would go into effect at 2 a.m. local time Friday, ending an 11-day war.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s office said Israel accepted the Egyptian proposal after a late-night meeting of his Security Cabinet. Hamas quickly followed suit and said it would honor the deal.

Biden, who spoke to Netanyahu six times in the last 11 days, said Thursday the prime minister credited the Iron Dome missile defense system with limiting the death toll inside Israel. The system is designed to intercept and destroy short-range rockets and artillery shells. Biden said he assured Netanyahu that his administration would work to quickly restock the missile defense system.

Biden and Netanyahu spoke twice Thursday, first after the Israeli Cabinet decided to accept the Egyptian proposal, according to an official familiar with the matter who spoke on the condition on anonymity. There was still about 2½ hours to go before the cease-fire went into effect and both U.S. and Israeli officials were concerned that Hamas could fire another barrage of rockets and unravel the agreement.

As the deadline drew near, Netanyahu called Biden again to let him know he believed the cease-fire was moving forward.

The cease-fire was announced one day after Biden told Netanyahu in a telephone call that he expected “significant de-escalation” of the fighting by day’s end, according to the White House. But the prime minister came right back with a public declaration that he was “determined to continue” the Gaza operation “until its objective is achieved.”

Hours before the cease-fire agreement was reached, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said the Israelis had “achieved significant military objectives” in their strikes intended to degrade Hamas military capabilities and reiterated that Biden expected the Israelis to start “winding down” their operations.

“We believe the Israelis have achieved significant military objectives that they laid out to achieve in relation to protecting their people and to responding to the thousands of rocket attacks from Hamas,” Psaki said.

The White House, according the official, was not concerned by Netanyahu’s comments that seemed to contradict Biden’s call to de-escalate. The prime minister, administration officials believed, did not want to telegraph to Hamas that he was ready to accept terms to end the violence and was also sending a message to a domestic audience that had become traumatized by the barrage of rocket fire.

Biden, who studiously avoided extensive public comment about the Israeli military strikes through the 11-day conflict, was facing mounting pressure from fellow Democrats to speak out against the Israelis as the death toll climbed in Gaza and tens of thousands of Palestinians were displaced by the aerial bombardment.

Throughout the crisis, Biden, in carefully-worded statements and brief exchanges with reporters, underscored Israel’s right to defend itself. But as the death toll in Gaza spread, the position was becoming more difficult to sustain with his Democratic caucus and the international community.

On Tuesday, while in Michigan to visit a Ford facility, Democratic Rep. Rashida Tlaib confronted Biden on the Detroit airport tarmac and called on him to speak out forcefully against the Israeli strikes. Meanwhile, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York introduced resolutions to block the sale of $735 million in military weaponry to Israel that’s already been approved by the Biden administration.

As the outside calls for Biden to speak more forcefully grew, Biden and top aides privately made the case to Israeli officials that time wasn’t on their side in the court of public opinion.

Biden and Netanyahu have known each other for more than 30 years and have frequently butted heads. Their conversations through the crisis were far from scripted and they probed each other on how they were gaming the path forward, according to the official familiar with the leaders’ conversations.

Administration officials pointed to Hezbollah’s stature rising in the region after their 34-day war with Israel in 2006 to make the case for limiting the time of the military action. Israeli officials pushed back that a slightly prolonged campaign to degrade Hamas’ military capabilities was necessary and in their interest, according a person familiar with the talks who was not authorized to discuss them publicly.

Biden, in his remarks Thursday, reiterated that United States continues to “fully support Israel’s right to defend itself against indiscriminate rocket attacks” by Hamas and other Gaza-based militants.

Biden also offered condolences for Palestinian lives lost during the conflict and vowed humanitarian aid would quickly flow through the Palestinian Authority, which is in control of the West Bank but not Gaza.

“We will do this in full partnership with the Palestinian Authority, not Hamas … and in a manner that does not permit Hamas to simply restock its military arsenal,” Biden said.


8 Responses

  1. “The cease-fire was announced one day after Biden told Netanyahu … that he expected “significant de-escalation” of the fighting by day’s end … But the prime minister came right back with a public declaration that he was “determined to continue” the Gaza operation “until its objective is achieved.””

    Of course, the Zionists, contrary to their propaganda and lies, are beholden to the gentile nations and need to follow orders from the gentile nations. How un-Zionist of the Zionists. Yet some people still believe the Zionist fantasy.

  2. Biden sees a “genuine opportunity” for lasting peace?! Wow, he truly is losing it. Go to hel* He’s one big Jew hater, he learned well from his former boss.

  3. And Biden will send “humanitarian” aid to the poor Palestinians all the while ensuring it does not reach Hamas! Once again, he’s delusional! No other president has been able to do this, surely sleepy Joe won’t be better at it 🤔

  4. peace fire is great but not for the long term as Hamas will just rebuild and attack again… and how could he demand a peace fire from israel after hamas has PURPOSEFULLY targeted Israeli civilians…just like nikki haley said (I don’t like her as she is a politician and she definitely has her political motives but she is 100% right about this) “what if terrorists sent missiles to Washington DC?” …would politicans still demand a ceasefire?! 100% NOT its understandable they have the right to defend themselves and fire back . What happend after 911 after evil terrorists murderd about 3000 civilians? we went into a full out war that has been going on for 20 years in Afghanistan!!! Yes that’s 20 years!!!…imagine if a week after the war began ppl in congress or especially from foreign governments demanded America makes a ceasefire with the taliban? yes ofc 911 was much bigger but the point is after someone deliberately attacks your civilians you have the right to defend yourself and wipe those terrorists out. especially when they continue firing… you have the right to wipe out every single rocket launcher and weapons depot and the ppl behind it so they shouldn’t rebuild again and attack you again. Why doesnt Israel have the right to de-arm those missiles pointed at Israeli civilians? They need to sit and wait until they shoot again? Are u kidding me Mr granny biden?

  5. This senile nincompoop doesn’t realize that if there would be no cease-fire, and he would let Israel finish the job Iron Dome would not be needed….

  6. Some us lose sight of the fact, since b’H we are so comfortable, that we are in galus. Eretz Yisroel is in galus. It’s so easy for someone here sitting on their comfy couch to say “sleepy Joe should let them finish the job”. I believe the overwhelming number of Jews in Eretz Yisroel are thrilled for the ceasefire and giving proper thanks to the Ribbono shel Olam.

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