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In Israel visit, Biden balances US support with calls for restraint in Gaza

President Joe Biden treaded carefully during a historic visit to Israel amid growing Arab backlash and mounting civilian casualties in the Gaza Strip.
US President Joe Biden joins Israel's Prime Minister for the start of the Israeli war cabinet meeting, in Tel Aviv on October 18, 2023.

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WASHINGTON — In a historic wartime visit to Israel on Wednesday, President Joe Biden’s message was one of steadfast support, but also included a subtle appeal for restraint, as the war-torn country readies for a ground offensive inside the densely populated Gaza Strip. 

“Shock, pain, rage — an all-consuming rage,” Biden said in Tel Aviv, drawing a comparison between Hamas’ Oct. 7 assault on Israel and the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the United States. 

“I understand. Many Americans understand," Biden said. “You can’t look at what has happened here ... and not scream out for justice. While you feel that rage, don’t be consumed by it."

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