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Biden Calls for Two-State Solution, More Aid in Gaza: ‘Saving Innocent Lives Has to Be a Priority’

Biden's remarks came five months to the day since Hamas' deadly terrorist attack on Israeli civilians ignited a war in Gaza

Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/Shutterstock President Joe Biden delivers a State of the Union address
Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/Shutterstock President Joe Biden delivers a State of the Union address

President Joe Biden used Thursday's State of the Union address to speak to the ongoing Israel-Gaza war, calling for a "two-state solution" and more aid for Palestinians as Israeli forces continue launching civilian attacks in the Gaza Strip.

Biden's remarks came five months to the day since Hamas' deadly terrorist attack on Israeli civilians on Oct. 7, when the militant group killed 1,200 civilians and soldiers and took at least 200 more as hostages.

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Israel responded by declaring war on Hamas — which controls the Palestinian territory of Gaza — and indicated that a long military campaign to defeat the Islamist militants was on the horizon. But in the time since, Israel's siege has largely harmed civilians.

Related: Air Force Member Dies After Setting Himself on Fire Outside Israeli Embassy in Protest of Gaza War

Nearly 30,000 people have been killed in Gaza — most of them women and children — since Israel's offensive began, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry, and protestors have accused Israel of committing genocide.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has adamantly denied the allegations of genocide, saying the country is acting in self-defense, and has reportedly been holding talks on a proposed six-week pause in fighting, which would allow aid trucks to enter Gaza every day.

Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/Shutterstock President Joe Biden delivers a State of the Union address
Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images/Shutterstock President Joe Biden delivers a State of the Union address

Speaking about the situation during his State of the Union address, Biden, 81, said, "As we look to the future, the only real solution is a two-state solution. I say this as a lifelong supporter of Israel and the only American president to visit Israel in wartime. There is no other path that guarantees Israel’s security and democracy. There is no other path that guarantees Palestinians can live with peace and dignity."

The two-state solution centers on the establishment of two independent states: Israel and Palestine. Currently, the Palestinian territories of Gaza and West Bank are occupied by Israel.

Related: Joe Biden Delivers Primetime Address on Israel and Ukraine to Earn Support for War Aid

<p>Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images</p> President Joe Biden at Thursday's State of the Union address

Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Joe Biden at Thursday's State of the Union address

Elsewhere in his speech, Biden urged Israel to stop restricting aid to Palestinians as the conflict continues, saying, "Israel must allow more aid into Gaza and ensure that humanitarian workers aren’t caught in the crossfire. To the leadership of Israel, I say this: humanitarian assistance cannot be a secondary consideration or a bargaining chip. Protecting and saving innocent lives has to be a priority."

Biden also announced that, while negotiations continue, he would be launching an "emergency mission" to build a temporary pier on the coast of Gaza that would allow large vessels to deliver assistance via the Mediterranean.

"This temporary pier would enable a massive increase in the amount of humanitarian assistance getting into Gaza every day," the president said. "But Israel must also do its part."

Following the speech, Biden was caught saying on a hot mic that he planned to have a serious talk with Netanyahu about the ongoing situation in Gaza.

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Biden's State of the Union address was a largely successful one for his reelection campaign, which confirmed to PEOPLE that the 9, 10 and 11 p.m. hours of Thursday night — during and immediately after the president's speech — were his best fundraising hours of the campaign cycle so far.

CNN poll conducted by SSRS after the State of the Union revealed that 62% of respondents who tuned into the speech believed Biden's policies would take the country in the right direction. When the same people were polled just before the speech, only 45% of respondents had faith that Biden's policies were what the country needed.

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Read the original article on People.