U.S. President Joe Biden said on Wednesday that Washington would provide Israel with everything it needed to defend itself as it wages war against the Palestinian militant group Hamas, which he appeared to blame for a devastating blast at a Gaza hospital.
Biden, who landed in Israel and met Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu early on Wednesday, said Hamas was worse than Islamic State for its killings of Israeli civilians in the surprise attack on Oct. 7 which triggered the latest Israel-Palestinian violence.
He said he was “sad and outraged” by an explosion at a hospital in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday which Hamas said killed hundreds of people.
“I’m deeply saddened and outraged by the explosion at the hospital in Gaza yesterday and based on what I’ve seen it appears as though it was done by the other team, not you,” he said.
Israel says the blast was caused by a misfired Islamic Jihad rocket. Hamas denies that. The bloodshed there has stoked already fierce anti-Israel protests in the region.
Biden said 31 Americans were among the more than 1,300 Israelis killed in Hamas’s Oct. 7 attack.