Biden welcomes Gaza ceasefire, says US proud to back life-saving Iron Dome

Jacob Magid is The Times of Israel's US bureau chief

US President Joe Biden speaks about the economy during a meeting at the White House in Washington, July 28, 2022. (AP/Susan Walsh)
US President Joe Biden speaks about the economy during a meeting at the White House in Washington, July 28, 2022. (AP/Susan Walsh)

US President Joe Biden welcomes the ceasefire between Israel and the Gaza-based Palestinian Islamic Jihad terror group, which has gone into effect after over three days of fighting.

Biden says the US has been in contact with officials from Israel, the Palestinian Authority, Egypt, Qatar and Jordan in order to bring a swift end to the fighting, and he thanks Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi along with Qatari Emir Tamim Bin Hamad al-Thani for their central roles in the effort.

The president also commends Prime Minister Yair Lapid and his government’s “steady leadership throughout the crisis.”

As the White House did on the first day of the conflict, Biden expresses his support for Israel’s right to defend itself against “indiscriminate” PIJ rocket fire and adds that the US “is proud of our support for Israel’s Iron-Dome, which intercepted hundreds of rockets and saved countless lives.” Earlier this year, the US approved an additional $500 million in funding for Iron Dome replenishments following the May 2021 Gaza conflict.

Biden laments the civilians whose lives were cut short by the conflict, “whether by Israeli strikes against Islamic Jihad positions or the dozens of Islamic Jihad rockets that reportedly fell inside Gaza.”

He says his administration supports “timely and thorough investigation[s]” into those deaths.

“We also call on all parties to fully implement the ceasefire, and to ensure fuel and humanitarian supplies are flowing into Gaza as the fighting subsides,” the president says.

As has been the case in just about every Biden administration statement regarding the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Biden closes by asserting that “Israelis and Palestinians both deserve to live safely and securely and to enjoy equal measures of freedom, prosperity, and democracy.”

“My Administration will remain engaged with Israeli and Palestinian leaders to support that vision and to implement the initiatives launched during my [recent] visit to improve the quality of life for Palestinians and Israelis alike,” he adds, apparently referring to the package of steps announced last month aimed at improving Palestinian livelihood, but which have yet to be implemented and require Israeli follow-through.

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