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Biden signs $17 billion aid package to Israel, meets with 4-year-old former hostage Abigail Idan

‘I will always make sure that Israel has what it needs to defend itself against Iran and terrorists it supports’

U.S. President Joe Biden with released four-year-old Israeli-American hostage Abigail Idan (Photo: Joe Biden/X)

U.S. President Joe Biden on Wednesday signed into law the emergency foreign aid package worth $95 billion that will arm Israel, Ukraine and Taiwan. Biden said it was “a good day for world peace” since the package is going to make America and the world “safer.” 

The legislation, passed by the Senate Tuesday evening after months-long negotiations, will provide $17 billion in military aid to Israel and $1 billion in humanitarian aid to Palestinian civilians in Gaza. It includes nearly $61 billion in aid to Ukraine and another $8 billion for the Indo-Pacific region, related to Taiwan. 

“My commitment to Israel, I want to make clear again, is ironclad,” the president underscored. “The security of Israel is critical. I will always make sure that Israel has what it needs to defend itself against Iran and terrorists it supports.”

Biden said that the military aid for Israel in the bill “can help replenish Israel’s air defense and provide other critical defense so Iran can never carry out the destruction it intended with its attack 10 days ago.”

The U.S. president said Israel must ensure the relief for Palestinians, as stated in the bill, reaches the Hamas-controlled enclave “without delay.”

He noted that the package “significantly increases humanitarian assistance we’re sending to the innocent people of Gaza, who are suffering badly. They’re suffering the consequences of this war that Hamas started. And we’ve been working intently for months to get as much aid to Gaza as possible.”

Biden added: “Everything we do is guided by the ultimate goal of bringing these hostages [held by Hamas in Gaza] home, securing a ceasefire, and setting the conditions for an enduring peace.”

Later on Wednesday, the U.S. president met with the four-year-old former Israeli-American hostage, Abigail Idan.

Idan was abducted from Kibbutz Kfar Aza by terrorists on Oct. 7, after both of her parents were murdered by Hamas operatives. The young girl fled to a neighbor’s house, from which she was ultimately taken, while her 6-year-old and 9-year-old siblings survived the carnage by hiding inside a closet for hours. 

Idan was held by Hamas terrorists in Gaza for 50 days and was the youngest American hostage to be released.

Biden posted a message on social media about his meeting with Idan.

"She’s remarkable and recovering from unspeakable trauma. Our time together yesterday was a reminder of the work we have in front of us to secure the release of all remaining hostages," he wrote on 𝕏.

U.S. National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan repeated Biden's sentiment when he spoke with reporters on Wednesday.

Blinken said the meeting was "a reminder that there are still Americans and others being held hostage by Hamas, and we're working day in and day out to ensure all of them also are able to get safely home to their loved ones.”

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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