Netanyahu says first-ever wartime visit by US leader ‘deeply moving’

Lazar Berman is The Times of Israel's diplomatic reporter

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tells US President Joe Biden that Hamas’s crimes included rape, burning, kidnapping, and targeting small children, and says the death toll is 1,400 and maybe higher.

“Hamas murdered children in front of their parents, and parents in front of their children. They burned people alive. They raped and murdered women. They beheaded soldiers. They searched for the secret hiding places where parents hid their children. And just imagine, Mr. President, the fear and panic of those little children as the monsters discovered, found out, their hiding places.

“Hamas kidnapped women and children, elderly, Holocaust survivors. I know you share our outrage on this. And I know you share our determination to bring these people back.

“On October 7,” he says, “Hamas murdered 1,400 Israelis, maybe more. This is in a country of fewer than 10 million people. This would be equivalent to over 50,000 Americans murdered in a single day. That’s 20 9/11s. That is why October 7 is another day that will live in infamy,” says Netanyahu.

“Just as the civilized world united to defeat the Nazis, and united to defeat ISIS, the civilized world must unite to defeat Hamas,” adds Netanyahu, stressing that Israel is united and will defeat Hamas “and remove this terrible threat from our lives. The forces of civilization will prevail — for our sake, for your sake, for peace and security in our region and in the world.”

He says that “for the people of Israel, there’s only one thing better than having a true friend like you standing with Israel, and that is having you standing in Israel.”

Netanyahu notes that Biden is the first-ever US president to visit Israel in a time of war, calling it “deeply, deeply moving.”

“It speaks to the depth of your personal commitment to Israel. It speaks to the depth of your personal commitment to the future of the Jewish people and the one and only Jewish state.”

Netanyahu closes by thanking Biden for standing with Israel “today, tomorrow, and always.”

Netanyahu does not mention the humanitarian situation in Gaza or last night’s deadly explosion in a Gaza City hospital, which Hamas has blamed on Israel but the IDF has provided proof was caused by a misfired Palestinian Islamic Jihad rocket.

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