Washington — President Biden is addressing the nation from the Oval Office Thursday night at 8 p.m. to affirm the United States’ solidarity with Israel andand ask Congress for $100 billion in supplemental funding, including billions in wartime aid for each country.
The president’s address, only his second from the Oval Office, comes on the heels of a, where he met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli President Isaac Herzog.
Mr. Biden will address the country on the, in addition to Russia’s war in Ukraine, emphasizing how the conflicts matter for global security, a senior White House official said. The president thinks it’s important to speak directly to the American people about how Israel and Ukraine relate to the United States’ national security interests, the official said. Mr. Biden and his aides have been working on the speech throughout the course of the week, including on Air Force One on the way back from Israel, according to the official.
In Israel, the president announced the U.S. would give $100 million to aid civilians in Gaza and the West Bank while declaring America’s unwavering support for Israel.
“I come to Israel with a single message — you’re not alone,” the president said in remarks at the conclusions of his meetings in Tel Aviv. “You are not alone. As long as the United States stands, and we will stand forever, we will not let you ever be alone.”
The details of the supplemental request were still evolving, although it was said to also include aid for Indo-Pacific countries like Taiwan and bolstering security along the U.S.-Mexico border. Congress has been paralyzed for over two weeks without an elected House speaker.after a small group of Republicans voted with Democrats to oust Rep. Kevin McCarthy earlier this month.
Israel suffered more thanin the Oct. 7 attacks by Hamas, and 3,500 were injured. Thirty-one U.S. citizens were among the dead, and 13 remain unaccounted for, some of them believed to be held hostage by the U.S.-designated terrorist group. Mr. Biden told reporters on the way back from Tel Aviv that “we’re going to get people out, and quickly” but said he couldn’t discuss details.
Meanwhile,on Gaza, where Palestinian officials say almost 3,800 have been killed. Mr. Biden said Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi agreed to allow up to 20 trucks of humanitarian aid into Gaza through the Rafa gate. But if Hamas confiscates the aid or doesn’t allow it through, the humanitarian aid will cease.
The president told reporters that he was “very blunt” with the Israelis. He said Israel has been “badly victimized,” but if they have an opportunity to relieve the suffering of people “who have nowhere to go,” they should. If Israel doesn’t, “you’re going to lose credibility worldwide,” he said. Mr. Biden said he received “no pushback” from Netanyahu or other Israeli leaders on allowing humanitarian aid.
The president was supposed to meet with Arab leaders in Jordan on Wednesday, but Jordan’s foreign minister, and the U.S. scrapped the stop from the Middle East trip.
How to watch President Biden address the nation on Israel and Ukraine
- What: President Biden gives an Oval Office address
- Date: Thursday, Oct. 19, 2023
- Time: 8 p.m. ET
- Location: The White House
- On TV: Live coverage on CBS television stations
- Online stream: Live on CBS News in the player above and on your mobile or streaming device