Biden promises to replenish Israel's Iron Dome supply, help rebuild Gaza

The president also expressed hope that the ceasefire would develop into potentially bigger movements towards progress in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

US President Biden delivers remarks on Israel-Hamas ceasefire, in Washington (photo credit: REUTERS/JONATHAN ERNST)
US President Biden delivers remarks on Israel-Hamas ceasefire, in Washington
US President Joe Biden promised to replenish Israel's supply of Iron Dome interceptors and to help rebuild the Gaza Strip in a brief address he delivered at the White House shortly after the announcement that a truce had been reached to end 11 days of IDF-Hamas conflict on Thursday evening.
"The US is committed to working with the UN... and other international stakeholders to provide rapid humanitarian assistance and to marshal international support for the people of Gaza and the Gaza reconstruction efforts," he said.
"We will do this in full partnership with the Palestinian Authority, not Hamas... in a manner that does not permit Hamas to restock its military arsenal," Biden said.
"Palestinians and Israelis equally deserve to live safely and securely. My administration will continue our quiet, relentless diplomacy toward that end. We have a genuine opportunity to make progress," Biden said.
The president explained that over the last two weeks, he had held six conversations with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, including on Thursday.
The two men had spoken of the Iron Dome system, which had saved the lives of countless Israelis, both Arabs and Jews, Biden explained. Israel has said that the system had a 90% success rate.
"I assured him of my full support to replenish Israel's Iron Dome system to ensure its defenses and security in the future," he said.
Biden underscored that "the US fully supports Israel's right to protect itself against indiscriminate rocket attacks from Hamas and other Gaza terror groups that have taken the lives of innocent civilians in Israel."
"Hour by hour" intensive conversations were held with Israelis, Palestinians, Egyptians and other Middle Eastern countries, Biden said as he described the diplomatic activity that led to the ceasefire.
The president said that aside from Netanyahu, he had spoken with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. 
He lauded Sisi and the Egyptians for their critical role, as well as Netanyahu for accepting the mutual, unconditional ceasefire. Hamas has also told the Egyptians that they agreed to the ceasefire, he said.
"I extend my sincere condolences to all the families, Israeli and Palestinians, who have lost loved ones," Biden said, adding that he sent his wishes for a full recovery to the wounded. 
After the ceasefire was announced, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken spoke with Foreign Minister Gabi Ashkenazi and told him of his intent to visit Israel next week.
The State Department said that Blinken would "meet with Israeli, Palestinian and regional counterparts in the coming days to discuss recovery efforts and working together to build better futures for Israelis and Palestinians."
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres welcomed news of the ceasefire and thanked Egypt and Qatar for their efforts in brokering the truce.
"I call on all sides to observe the ceasefire," Guterres said, adding that it was very important to stabilize it.
He appealed to the intentional community to support the reconstruction of Gaza and urged Israeli and Palestinian leaders to embark on a peace process, something which has not happened since 2014.
"I think it will be very important to have a robust program of humanitarian aid and recovery for Gaza," Guterres said. 
"And I think it will be very important to revitalize the peace process, to restart the peace process in order to have a two-state solution," he added. 
"The United Nations’ deep commitment [is] to working with Israelis and Palestinians, and with our international and regional partners, including through the Middle East Quartet," Guterres said.