US President Biden publicly addressed the 11-day Palestinian-Israeli violence for the first time Thursday, saying there was a real chance for peace after all sides agreed to a ceasefire earlier in the day.
Biden said he spoke to outgoing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ahead of his speech. He said the Egyptians - who have played a key mediating role - relayed that Hamas had also agreed to the ceasefire.
The US president dedicated most of his four-minute speech to praising Israel and supporting Tel Aviv's “right to defend itself.”
Biden also revealed that the US would replenish the so-called Iron Dome with missiles. The air-defense system is equipped with US batteries and missiles.
As for the future of a solution to the decades-long Palestinian-Israeli conflict, Biden voiced his belief that there was now a “genuine opportunity” for progress toward peace.
“I believe the Palestinians and Israelis equally deserve to live safely and securely and enjoy equal measures of freedom, prosperity and democracy,” Biden said. “My administration will continue our quiet, relentless diplomacy toward that.”