ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 139

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Biden: Appears ‘other team’ responsible for Gaza hospital deaths

Lazar Berman is The Times of Israel's diplomatic reporter

US President Joe Biden (left) meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2023, in Tel Aviv. (AP/Evan Vucci)
US President Joe Biden (left) meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2023, in Tel Aviv. (AP/Evan Vucci)

In Tel Aviv, US President Joe Biden says the explosion at al-Ahli hospital in Gaza appears to have been caused by Gazan terror groups and not Israel.

“I am deeply saddened and outraged by the explosion at the hospital in Gaza yesterday. And based on what I’ve seen, it appears it was done by the other team, and not you,” he says, publicly endorsing Israel’s version of events.

But he adds, “there are a lot of people out there who are not sure.”

Biden begins his remarks by telling Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that “I wanted to be here today for a simple reason: I want the people of Israel and the people of the world to know where the United States stands…. I wanted to personally come and make that clear.”

Biden stresses that the terrorist group Hamas “slaughtered” over 1,300 people, “and that’s not hyperbole, just slaughtered… including 31 Americans. They have taken scores of people hostage, including children. You said, Imagine what those children hiding from Hamas were thinking. It’s beyond my comprehension to imagine what they were thinking.”

“They have committed evils and atrocities that make ISIS look somewhat more rational,” he notes.

“Americans are grieving with you, they really are. Americans are worried… because they know this is not an easy field to navigate what you have to do.”

He adds: “Israel, as they respond to these attacks, it seems to me that you have to continue to ensure that you have what you need to defend yourselves. And we’re going to make sure that occurs.”

Biden notes: “Hamas does not represent all the Palestinian people and has brought them only suffering.”

Biden now says: “I am deeply saddened and outraged by the explosion at the hospital in Gaza yesterday. And based on what I’ve seen, it appears it was done by the other team, and not you,” he says, publicly endorsing Israel’s version of events.

But he adds, “there’s a lot of people out there who are not sure. So we’ve gotta overcome a lot of things.”

This also means “encouraging life-saving capacity to help the Palestinians who are innocent, caught in the middle of this.”

“The world is looking,” Biden continues. “Israel has a value set like the United States does and other democracies, and they’re looking to see what we’re going to do.”

He tells Netanyahu he is “very happy to be back in Israel with you.”

“I am looking forward to having a thorough discussion about where everyone goes from here,” says Biden.

He concludes with a message to Israelis saying “their courage, their commitment, their bravery is stunning. I’m proud to be here.”

The pair refuses to take any questions.

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