I came to Israel with a simple message: you are not alone, we will not stand by and do nothing, assured US President Joe Biden in his speech in Tel Aviv. – I’m warning you. When you feel this anger, don’t let it consume you. After September 11, we in the United States, although we sought and received justice, also made mistakes, he admitted.
During his speech in Tel Aviv, Biden strongly emphasized America’s solidarity with Israel, but also warned Israelis more clearly than before against an excessive and hasty response to the Hamas attacks.
– I came to Israel with a simple message: you are not alone, as long as the United States exists, and it will exist forever, we will never let you be alone, Biden said. He added that the Hamas attacks were the bloodiest day for Jews since the Holocaust, but unlike the Holocaust, America will not remain idle.
– The world looked on at the time and did nothing. We will not stand by and do nothing. Not today, not tomorrow, never, he assured. He also announced that this week he would ask Congress for an “unprecedented” package of funds to support Israel, including: to provide missile resources for the Iron Dome air defense system.
Biden also repeated his earlier claim about the responsibility of Palestinian terrorists for the Gaza hospital tragedy. “Based on the information we have seen so far, this appears to be the result of an erroneous missile launch by a terrorist group in Gaza,” he said.
Biden warns: Don’t let anger consume you
The US president once again expressed shock at the brutality of the Hamas attacks, adding that, given population proportions, they were to Israel what the fifteen attacks of September 11 would be to America.
– You cannot look at what happened here to your mothers, fathers, grandfathers, sons, daughters, children, even infants and not cry for justice. Justice must be served, the president said, but added: – I am warning you. When you feel this anger, don’t let it consume you. After 9/11, we in the United States, although we sought and received justice, also made mistakes.
Biden stressed that unlike Hamas, Israel should stick to “not the law of terrorists, but the law of war” and must ask itself hard questions about its military operations to have “clarity about its goals and an honest assessment of whether the path you are in will lead to the achievement of these goals.”
The president also announced the allocation of an additional $100 million for humanitarian aid to the West Bank and Gaza, and said that during talks with the Israeli government he called for the creation of a corridor to deliver humanitarian aid.
“The basic agreement is that there will be inspections and that aid should go to civilians, not Hamas, and the agreed humanitarian aid can start being delivered from Egypt to Gaza,” he said.
Biden also emphasized that Hamas does not represent the Palestinians and supported the creation of a Palestinian state. – Let us remain on a path where Israelis and Palestinians can have both security and dignity, as well as peace. For me, this means a two-state solution and further work on Israel’s integration with its neighbors, he said.
Biden’s speech was the last official point of his one-day visit to Israel. According to the White House, on his way back from Israel, Biden is to hold talks with the president of Egypt and the king of Jordan about the situation of civilians in Gaza. He was originally scheduled to meet them on Wednesday in Amman, but the summit was canceled due to an explosion at a Gaza hospital.
The US imposed sanctions on those responsible for financing the Palestinian Hams
Meanwhile, the US Department of Finance on Wednesday imposed sanctions on nine people from Sudan, Turkey, Qatar and Algeria, as well as the Buy Cash cryptocurrency exchange in Gaza, involved in financing the activities of the Palestinian Hamas. According to the head of the ministry, Janet Yellen, this is intended to disrupt the flow of money to the organization.
According to the ministry, the six people subject to sanctions are people “connected with the secret Hamas investment portfolio”, creating a network of entities in Sudan, Turkey and Algeria dealing with Hamas investments. In addition, two high-ranking representatives of the organization were added to the sanctions list, including one living in Qatar, and the Buy Cash cryptocurrency exchange located in Gaza, used by Hamas and in the past also by the so-called Islamic State (IS).
“These individuals supported Hamas and other terrorist organizations, allowing Hamas (…) to carry out acts such as the cruel attack on Israel,” US Foreign Minister Antony Blinken said in a statement. He also emphasized that US actions are directed against Hamas, not the Palestinians.
Yellen said the sanctions are part of a multi-year effort to “effectively disrupt terrorist finances.” – We will continue to take all necessary steps to deny Hamas terrorists the ability to obtain and use funds to commit crimes and terrorize the people of Israel. This includes imposing sanctions and coordinating with allies and partners to track, freeze and confiscate all Hamas-related assets in their jurisdictions, she said.
According to the US Department of Finance, the sanctions list currently includes almost a thousand people and entities associated with Hamas, Hezbollah and other organizations supported by Iran.
Main photo source: PAP/EPA/MIRIAM ALSTER / POOL