US President Joe Biden on Thursday (local time) announced that Washington will replenish Israel’s Iron Dome air defense systems that were depleted during the recent conflict with the Palestinian group in Gaza.
Israel has relied heavily on the Iron Dome batteries to intercept thousands of rockets fired on its territory from Gaza and other places.
“The Prime Minister [of Israel, Benyamin Netanyahu]… shared with me his appreciation for the Iron Dome system, which our nations developed together and which has saved lives of countless Israeli citizens, both Arabs and Jews. I assured him of my full support to replenish Israel’s Iron Dome system to ensure its defenses and security in the future,” Biden said in a statement.
Biden’s remarks come after the Israeli security cabinet unanimously adopted Egypt’s initiative for a bilateral unconditional ceasefire, which would take effect at 23:00 GMT on Thursday. According to an official statement, the Israeli security cabinet unanimously adopted Egypt’s initiative for a bilateral ceasefire.
He also promised to provide rapid humanitarian aid and reconstruction assistance to the Palestinians in Gaza after the conflict between Hamas and Israel.
“We remain committed working with the United Nations and other international stakeholders to provide rapid humanitarian assistance and marshal international support for the people of Gaza and the Gaza reconstruction efforts,” Biden said.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has welcomed the ceasefire between Israel and Palestine and called on all parties to observe it. “I welcome the ceasefire between Gaza and Israel after 11 days of deadly hostilities,” Guterres said on Thursday. “I call on all sides to observe the ceasefire.”
Meanwhile, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said on Friday said that a new batch of rockets was fired from the Gaza Strip at southern Israel minutes before the ceasefire enters into force.
“More rockets are being fired at southern Israel from Gaza. An important reminder: 4,340+ rockets have been fired at Israel since last Monday by terrorists in Gaza,” the IDF tweeted.
Both sides have been firing rockets at each other, leading to 217 Palestinians and 12 Israelis dead.