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Biden presses Israel on Gaza aid during State of the Union: 'There is no other path'

Bryan Metzger   

Biden presses Israel on Gaza aid during State of the Union: 'There is no other path'
  • Biden called on Israel to allow more aid into Gaza during his State of the Union speech.
  • "Israel must do its part," Biden said.

During his State of the Union address on Thursday, President Joe Biden directly challenged Israel, saying the country had to do more to allow aid to flow into Gaza.

He made the remarks as he announced that the US military would establish a "temporary port" on the Gaza coast to allow food, water, medicine, and temporary shelters into the besieged territory.

"Israel must do its part," Biden said. "Israel must allow more aid into Gaza and ensure that humanitarian workers aren't caught in the crossfire."

The increased American humanitarian involvement in Gaza comes after more than 100 Palestinians were killed as an Egyptian convoy sought to deliver aid into the territory. Crowds swarmed the delivery trucks, leading Israeli forces to open fire.

"We're not waiting on the Israelis," a senior administration official told reporters earlier on Thursday. "This is a moment for American leadership, and we are building a coalition of countries to address this urgent need."

The US began airdropping aid into Gaza last week amid the ongoing war, which has killed over 30,000 Palestinians and left thousands more in dire humanitarian straits.

Biden also reaffirmed US support for a two-state solution to the conflict, a long-standing plank of US foreign policy that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has recently called into question.

There is no other path that guarantees Israel's security and democracy," said Biden. "There is no other path that guarantees Palestinians can live with peace and dignity. There is no other path that guarantees peace between Israel and all of its neighbors."

Since the October 7 Hamas attacks, US support for Israel has increasingly become a challenge to Biden's reelection campaign.

Hundreds of thousands of Democratic voters have cast "uncommitted" ballots across several states, some of which will be crucial battlegrounds in the general election against former President Donald Trump.

Progressives in particular have urged Biden to push Israel to change course and enact a permanent cease-fire, including by placing conditions or restrictions on American military aid to the country.

The Biden administration has been supportive of a temporary, six-week cease-fire if Hamas agrees to release more Israeli hostages.


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