Biden Tells Bibi That Israel Has Right to Defend Itself (Dreamstime.com)
By Jeremy Frankel | Wednesday, 12 May 2021 07:54 PM
President Joe Biden spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu Wednesday in order to affirm the United States’ support for Israel, as the country is going through mass rocket attacks from Hamas in the Gaza strip.
Biden told reporters at the White House that “I had a conversation with Bibi Netanyahu not so long ago. I’ll be putting out a statement very shortly on that. My expectation and hope is that this will be closing down sooner than later. But Israel has a right to defend itself against thousands of rockets flying into your territory.”
The president also told reporters that his national security and defense staff have been “in constant contact with their counterparts in the Middle East — not just with the Israelis but also with everyone from the Egyptians to the Saudis to the Emiratis, etc.”
Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with Netanyahu as well in order to affirm U.S. support for Israel. Blinken “expressed his concerns regarding the barrage of rocket attacks on Israel, his condolences for the lives lost as a result, and the United States’ strong support for Israel’s right to defend itself. [Blinken] emphasized the need for Israelis and Palestinians to be able to live in safety and security, as well as enjoy equal measures of freedom, security, prosperity, and democracy,” the State Department said.
The Jerusalem Post reports that a White House readout of the call between Biden and Netanyahu says that Biden “condemned the rocket attacks by Hamas and other terrorist groups, including against Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. He conveyed his unwavering support for Israel’s security and for Israel’s legitimate right to defend itself and its people, while protecting civilians.”