President Joe Biden addressed the nation on Thursday night in a rare address from the Oval Office, touching on the conflict between Israel and Hamas after returning from a wartime visit to Tel Aviv.
The president also spoke about the war in Ukraine against Russian forces, appearing to try to link the two conflicts in the framework that urges nations to have restraint and aim for peace.
President Biden had only delivered one prior Oval Office address while in office, which came in June when the U.S. narrowly avoided hitting the debt ceiling.
On Thursday Biden said, "We must denounce antisemitism. We must also, without equivocation, denounce Islamophobia."
Biden said, "To all of you who are hurting, I want you to know, I see you."
"You belong, and I want to say this to you: You are all American," the president said.
Biden's address came a day after a brief visit to the Middle East where he met with Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu.
At that meeting, President Biden vowed to aid Israel in its battle with Hamas.
"We have stood by your side ever since, and we’re going to stand by your side now, Biden said. "My administration has been in close touch with your leadership from the first moments of this attack, and we are going to make sure we have - you have what you need, to protect your people. To defend your nation."
The U.S. has deployed two carrier strike groups — the USS Gerald Ford and the USS Dwight D. Eisenhower — to the region.
There are also 2,000 U.S. troops stationed in Europe on standby to assist in non-combat roles.
The aid comes after 1,400 people in Israel were killed by Hamas militants, including 30 American nationals. As Israel fires retaliatory strikes, Hamas leaders said at least 2,800 Palestinians have been killed, and over 10,000 have been wounded by Israeli air missiles.
Israel and Hamas have also pointed fingers at each other over a deadly hospital bombing in Gaza City on Tuesday.
The Hamas-run Palestinian Health Ministry said hundreds were killed in the blast. While Hamas said it was an Israeli air missile, Israel Defense Forces said it was a rocket misfired by the Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad that landed on the hospital.
President Biden said the bombing appeared to not have come from Israel.
During his visit, President Biden also vowed to assist with humanitarian efforts in the Gaza Strip, adding that the U.S. would provide $100 million in aid funds.
Ukraine has faced an invasion from Russia since February 2022. President Biden vowed to continue sending aid to Ukraine.
What remained unclear, as Congress frantically worked to confirm a new speaker of the House, was when additional aid money to Israel and Ukraine would get through Congress.
The House of Representatives, by Thursday night, had been without a speaker since Republican Kevin McCarthy was ousted earlier this month. Without a speaker, the House has been unable to pass legislation that would provide such aid.
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