US President Biden lands in Israel, meets Netanyahu

Biden meets Netanyahu

Last Updated October 18, 2023

Biden meets Netanyahu

Tel Aviv, Oct 18: Visiting US President Joe Biden on Wednesday told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the deadly bombing of a hospital in Gaza City "appears" that it was "done by the other team".

Biden, who arrived in Tel Aviv earlier in the day marking an extraordinary wartime visit for the first time since the Hamas launched its surprise assault on October 7, also said that he was "deeply saddened and outraged" by the bombing of the Al-Ahli Baptist Hospital on Tuesday, the BBC reported.

"Based on what I've seen it appears as though it was done by the other team, not you. But there's a lot of people out there who are not sure, so we've got to overcome a lot of things," the President was quoted as saying.

While Palestinian officials have blamed Israel for the incident, Israelis has denied responsibility and said it was due to a failed rocket launch by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

Biden also said that it is "not hyperbole" to say the Hamas "slaughtered" 1,300 people, including 31 Americans.

The president said the Palestinian militant group has “committed evils, that, atrocities that make IS (Islamic State) look somewhat more rational”.

But he acknowledged that while Israel has the right to defend itself, “we have to also bear in mind that a Hamas does not represent all the Palestinian people, and has brought them only suffering”.

Regarding the hostages taken by the Hamas, the President said: "Imagine what those children hiding from Hamas were thinking? It's beyond my comprehension."

He told Netanyahu that the US will continue to support Israel, adding that "I'm looking forward to having a discussion about what happens from here", the BBC reported.

“I wanted to be here today for the simple reason I want the people of Israel, people of the world to know the United States stands.I wanted to personally come and make that clear," Biden said.

He says the "courage, commitment and bravery" of the Israeli people is "stunning". "I'm proud to be here".

On his part, Netanyahu said the "civilised world must unite to defeat Hamas" in the same way it did when taking down the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group

"We will defeat Hamas and remove this terrible threat from our lives," he said.

Calling Biden a "true friend", the Prime Minister lauded the President's "deeply moving" visit amid the raging conflict, the BBC reported.

"I know I speak for the people of Israel when I say thank you... You've rightly drawn a clear line between the forces of civilisation and the forces of barbarism."

During his day-long visit, Biden is also scheduled to meet with Israeli first responders as well as "the families of victims and people still missing or taken hostage", according to the White House.

He will also deliver remarks and meet Israeli President Herzog before his departure.

On his flight home, Biden plans to speak with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Egyptian President El-Sisi, in lieu of the scheduled summit in Jordan, which was scrapped after the hospital blast. (IANS)

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