Washington – President Biden addresses the nation from the Oval Office Thursday evening at 8 p.m. to reaffirm the United States’ solidarity with Israel and Ukraine and to ask Congress for $100 billion in additional funding, including war aid billions of dollars for each country.
The president’s address, only his second in the Oval Office, follows a whirlwind trip to Israel, where he met Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli President Isaac Herzog.
Mr. Biden will address the country about the response to Hamas attacks as well as Russia’s war in Ukraine, emphasizing how important the conflicts are to global security, a senior White House official said. The president believes it is important to speak directly to the American people about how Israel and Ukraine are dealing with the national security interests of the United States, the official said. According to the official, Mr. Biden and his staff worked on the speech throughout the week, including on Air Force One on the way back from Israel.
In Israel, the president announced that the US would provide $100 million to support civilians in Gaza and the West Bank, while declaring America’s unwavering support for Israel.
“I come to Israel with a single message: you are not alone,” the president said at the end of his meetings in Tel Aviv. “You are not alone. As long as the United States endures, and we will endure forever, we will never leave you alone.”
The details of the amendment were still being developed, although it also reportedly included aid to Indo-Pacific countries such as Taiwan and strengthening security along the U.S.-Mexico border. Without an elected Speaker of the House of Representatives, Congress has been paralyzed for over two weeks. Republicans were unable to elect a new speaker after a small group of Republicans joined Democrats in voting to remove Rep. Kevin McCarthy earlier this month.
Israel suffered more than 1,400 deaths and 3,500 injuries in Hamas attacks on October 7. The dead included 31 US citizens and 13 are still missing. Some of them are said to have been held hostage by the US-designated terrorist group. Mr Biden told reporters on the way back from Tel Aviv that “we’re going to get people out, and we’re going to get them out quickly”, but said he couldn’t discuss details.
Meanwhile, Israel continues its air strikes on Gaza, where Palestinian officials say nearly 3,800 people have been killed. Mr Biden said Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi had agreed to allow up to 20 trucks carrying humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip through the Rafa Gate. But if Hamas confiscates the aid or refuses to let it through, humanitarian aid will stop.
The president told reporters he had been “very blunt” with the Israelis. He said Israel has been “victimized heavily” but if they have the opportunity to ease the suffering of people “who have nowhere to go,” they should do it. If Israel doesn’t do this, “you will lose credibility around the world,” he said. Mr Biden said he had received “no resistance” from Mr Netanyahu or other Israeli leaders to approving humanitarian aid.
The president was scheduled to meet with Arab leaders in Jordan on Wednesday, but Jordan’s foreign minister canceled the meeting and the U.S. canceled the stop on the Middle East trip.
Here’s how you can watch President Biden address the nation on Israel and Ukraine
- What: President Biden delivers a speech in the Oval Office
- Date: Thursday, Oct. 19, 2023
- Time: 8pm ET
- Location: The White House
- At TV: Live coverage on CBS television stations
- Online stream: Live on CBS News in the player above and on your mobile or streaming device
Israel and Hamas at war
More More Kathryn Watson
Source : www.cbsnews.com