Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday afternoon meet with US President Joe Biden, and afterwards held an expanded meeting with additional officials from both countries.
Attending the meeting were Strategic Affairs Minister Ron Dermer, National Security Council Director Tzachi Hanegbi, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan.
Prior to the meeting, Netanyahu said, "Mr. President, Joe, I want to thank you for coming here today and for the unequivocal support you have given Israel during these trying times, a support that reflects the overwhelming will of the American people."
An expanded meeting was attended by those who attended the smaller meeting, as well as by Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant (Likud), Ministers Benny Gantz and Gadi Eizenkot (National Unity), Shas chief Aryeh Deri, staff chief Tzachi Braverman, Netanyahu's military secretary, and Israel's Ambassador to the US Mike Herzog. From the American side, White House Coordinator for the Middle East and North Africa Brett McGurk, and Chargé d'Affaires ad interim Stephanie L. Hallett.
"This will be a different kind of war, because Hamas is a different kind of enemy," Netanyahu said. "While Israel seeks to minimize civilian casualties, Hamas seeks to maximize civilian casualties. Hamas wants to kill as many Israelis as possible, and has no regard whatsoever for Palestinian lives."
"Every day, they perpetrate a double war crime: Targeting our civilians, while hiding behind their civilians. Embedding themselves in the civilian population, and using them as human shields. We've seen the cost of this terrible double war crime against humanity that Hamas is perpetrating in the last eleven days, as Israeli legitimately targets terrorists, civilians are unfortunately harmed. Hamas is responsible and should be held accountable for all civilian casualties. We saw the cost of this terrible war crime yesterday, when a rocket fired by a Palestinian terrorist misfired and landed on a Palestinian hospital."
"The entire world was rightfully outraged, but this outrage should be directed not at Israel, but at the terrorists. As we proceed in this war, Israel will do everything it can to keep civilians out of harm's way. We have asked them and will continue to ask them to move to safer areas. We'll continue to work with you, Mr. President, to ensure that the minimal requirements are met and we'll continue to work together to get our hostages out.
"The road to victory will be long and hard. But united in purpose, and with a deep sense of justice and the unbreakable spirit of our soldiers and our people, Israel will prevail."
Biden said, "In the wake of Hamas' appalling terrorist assault - brutal, inhumane, almost beyond belief what they did, this cabinet came together, standing strong, standing united. And I want you to know you're not alone. You are not alone. As emphasized earlier, we will continue to have Israel's back, as you work to defend your people. We'll continue to work with you and partners across the region to prevent more tragedy to innocent civilians."
"Seventy-five years ago, your founders declared that this nation would be one based on, 'freedom, justice, and peace.' Based on freedom, justice, and peace. The United States stands with you in defense of that freedom, pursuit of that justice, and in support of that peace - today, tomorrow, and always. We promise you."