President Joe Biden said Wednesday the United States would work with Israel to prevent civilian deaths as it pounds Gaza, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu promising to make efforts.
“We will continue to have your back. As you work to defend your people, we will continue to work with you and partners across the region to prevent more tragedy to innocent civilians,” Biden said after meeting Netanyahu’s war cabinet in Tel Aviv.
Netanyahu renewed charges that Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip and launched a deadly assault inside Israel on October 7, deliberately puts civilians near targets in the hope of using them as shields.
But Netanyahu told Biden: “As we proceed in this war, Israel will do everything it can to keep civilians out of harm’s way.
“We have asked them and we’ll continue to ask them to move to safer areas. We will continue to work with you, Mr. President, to assure that the minimum requirements are met,” Netanyahu said.
Biden is paying a solidarity visit to Israel following the deadly Hamas assault which has prompted an Israeli air campaign and the threat of a ground offensive in the Gaza Strip.
On the eve of his visit, a strike on a hospital in Gaza killed between 200 and 300 people, according to health authorities in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip.
They blamed Israel for the strike, which has provoked fury around the Arab world.
Israel said that Islamic Jihad militants misfired a missile, a version supported by Biden.
“The entire world was rightfully outraged,” Netanyahu said of the hospital strike. “But this outrage should be directed not at Israel, but at the terrorists.”