Biden delivers 2024 State of the Union
Biden delivers 2024 State of the UnionREUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

US President Joe Biden on Sunday called for an increase in the scope of humanitarian aid to Gaza and for an agreement that will halt the fighting in Gaza and release the hostages being held by Hamas.

Biden made the comments as he hosted Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar at the White House.

He said that he and Varadkar agree “about the urgent need to increase humanitarian aid in Gaza, and get this ceasefire deal that brings the hostages home and moves toward a two-state solution — which is the only path, the only path — to lasting peace and security.”

Varadkar told Biden, “We see our history in their eyes. A story of displacement, of dispossession, a national identity questioned and denied. Forced immigration, discrimination, and now hunger.”

“Mr. President, we also see Israel’s history reflected in our eyes. A diaspora whose heart never left home no matter how many generations passed. A nation state that was reborn. And a language revived. I believe it’s possible be for Israel and for Palestine. And I believe you do, too,” he added.

Ireland has been critical of Israel’s conduct in Gaza, with Varadkar last month launching a tirade against Israel and accusing the country of becoming "blinded by rage.

"They [Israel] have become blinded by rage. And they are going to, I believe, make the situation much worse for their own security in the long term by going down the path they are going," the Irish Prime Minister charged.

Varadkar caused an uproar in November, after he said that nine-year-old Emily Hand, a dual resident of Ireland and Israel who was freed from Hamas captivity, “was lost [and] has now been found and returned.

However, no mention was made of the fact that Hand was held by Hamas terrorists for 50 days, or of the attack they perpetrated in Israel on October 7 when they abducted Hand and more than 200 other people.

The Biden administration, meanwhile, has repeatedly stressed its commitment to a two-state solution for the Israeli-Palestinian Arab conflict. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken reiterated this commitment in a conversation with Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister last month.