US President Joe Biden delivered remarks on Thursday after the Israeli Cabinet approved a ceasefire in Gaza.
“Prime Minister Netanyahu informed me that Israel has agreed to a mutual, unconditional ceasefire to begin in less than two hours. The Egyptians have now informed us that Hamas and the other groups in Gaza have also agreed,” said Biden.
“In my conversation with Prime Minister Netanyahu, I commended him for the decision to bring the current hostilities to a close in less than 11 days. I also emphasized what I’ve said throughout this conflict: The United States fully supports Israel’s right to defend itself against indiscriminate rocket attacks from Hamas and other Gaza-based terrorist groups that have taken the lives of innocent civilians in Israel.”
Biden also said he ensured Netanyahu of his “full support to replenish Israel’s Iron Dome system.”
“Over the last 11 days, I spoke with the Prime Minister six times. I’ve also spoken with President Abbas of the Palestinian Authority as part of our intense diplomatic engagement,” said the President, who thanked the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense and the National Security Advisor “for their incredible efforts to bring this about.”
Biden expressed gratitude to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi and senior Egyptian officials “for their critical role in this diplomacy”.
“These hostilities have resulted in the tragic deaths of so many civilians, including children, and I send my sincere condolences to all the families – Israeli and Palestinian – who have lost loved ones, and I hope for a full recovery for the wounded.”
He said the US is committed to working with the United Nations and other international organizations to provide humanitarian support to Gaza.
“We will do this in full partnership with the Palestinian Authority – not Hamas, the Authority – in a manner that does not permit Hamas to simply restock its military arsenal,” stressed Biden.
The President said, “I believe that Palestinians and Israelis equally deserve to live safely and securely and to enjoy equal measures of freedom, prosperity and democracy. My administration will continue our quiet, relentless diplomacy toward that end.”
“I believe we have a genuine opportunity to make progress and I’m committed to working for it,” added Biden.