Addressing humanitarian crisis in Gaza a ‘priority’: Biden

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US President Joe Biden said Friday that addressing the humanitarian crisis in Gaza was a “priority.”

“We can’t lose sight of the fact that the overwhelming majority of Palestinians had nothing to do with Hamas and Hamas’s appalling attacks, and they’re suffering as a result as well,” Biden said during a speech in Philadelphia.

The US president reiterated his staunch support for Israel following Saturday’s attack by Hamas militants, which he described as “pure evil.”

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“We’re making sure Israel has what it needs to defend itself and respond to these attacks,” Biden said.

“It’s also a priority for me to urgently address the humanitarian crisis in Gaza,” he said. “At my direction our teams are working in the region, including communicating directly with the governments of Israel, Egypt, Jordan and other Arab nations and the United Nations to surge support.”

Biden said he spoke earlier Friday with the families of Americans taken hostage by Hamas militants.

“They’re going through agony not knowing what the status of their sons, daughters, husbands, wives, children are,” he said. “It’s gut wrenching.

“We are working around the clock to secure the release of Americans held by Hamas, in close cooperation with Israel and our partners around the region,” he said. “We’re not going to stop until we bring them home.”

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