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Biden to Rivlin: Israelis cannot go on being afraid

Speaking during a meeting with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, US Vice President Joe Biden says the current wave of violence — 29 Israelis and four non-Israelis have been killed in Palestinian terror attacks since October — cannot be ended with force alone.

“Israelis and visitors to Israel cannot go on being afraid to go about their lives for fear of being attacked. The violence has to stop, period… it cannot and will not be done just by physical force,” Biden tells Rivlin.

“The United States of America resoundingly condemns the terrorist violence we have seen lately including yesterday… Our hearts go out to those who have suffered and their families,” he says.

US Vice President Joe Biden and Isreali President Reuven Rivlin meet at the President's Residence in Jerusalem, March 9, 2016. (Mark Neyman/GPO)
US Vice President Joe Biden and Isreali President Reuven Rivlin meet at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem, March 9, 2016. (Mark Neyman/GPO)

Rivlin responds saying yesterday’s attacks which left one US tourist dead and 10 Israelis injured were not new to Israelis and would not break the country’s spirit and dedication to democracy.

“To my sorrow, Israel has faced this kind of terror nearly every day over the past year. Israel will continue to stand firm in the face of this violence and hatred. Terror will not break us, and it will not shape our future,” Rivlin says.

Biden concluded, “So Mr. President, I am anxious to get to our discussion because when I sit with you I always learn something – I mean that sincerely, you have wisdom. President Obama and I were very honored to welcome you and your wife to the White House in your first visit in December. You said at that time Israel has no greater friend than the United States. I am here to reaffirm that that assertion is absolutely right and we have no greater friend.”

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