President Joe Biden, having just returned from Israel, addressed the United States on Thursday night, making a plea for steadfast American support of both the Jewish State and Ukraine.
At this “inflection point in history,” Biden said, Hamas terrorists and Russia’s Vladimir Putin are trying to annihilate a neighboring democracy.
“I know these conflicts can seem far away,” he said, warning that unchecked aggression from terrorists and dictators continues to spread.
“What would happen if we walked away?” Biden asked. “We are the essential nation.”
Biden said he intends to send an urgent budget request to Congress on Friday, seeking tens of billions to support Israel and Ukraine.
Aid for Gazans. He also noted that he had finalized a deal with Egypt to allow 20 aid trucks to enter the Gaza Strip at the Rafah Crossing, linking Gaza to Egypt.
The US has come under pressure from Arab capitals to broker a way to get aid into Gaza. The Strip’s 2.3 million residents are facing a humanitarian crisis following two weeks of siege and airstrikes by Israel in retaliation for Hamas’ Oct. 7 rampage.
There are currently more than 100 trucks laden with aid on the Egyptian side of Rafah, but only 20 have been cleared to enter. Israel has reportedly sought assurances that any aid sent into the enclave is not diverted by Hamas fighters.
If Hamas does not interfere, Biden said, a more regular flow of humanitarian aid may become possible.
Ground invasion looms. Biden reiterated that Hamas unleashed unadulterated evil with its Oct. 7 attacks, and he has repeatedly supported Israel’s right to defend itself in the face of terror. But he also cautioned Israeli leaders “not to be blinded by rage.”
The president’s remarks came just hours after Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant met with military leaders along the Gazan border, where he told hundreds of thousands of Israeli troops to prepare to invade Gaza.
Meanwhile, tensions in the occupied West Bank continue to rise. Israel carried out airstrikes on a Palestinian refugee camp Thursday, killing 12 people it said were a “threat to nearby soldiers.” Since Hamas’ Oct. 7 raid, Israeli forces in the West Bank have killed 70 Palestinians and arrested more than 800, according to Palestinian officials.
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