President Joe Biden said Friday there has been no shift in his party's commitment to Israel's security, after the progressive wing of the party laid the blame for the conflict solely of Israel and demanded U.S. stops all aid to the Jewish state.
Biden spoke at a White House news conference on the first full day of a cease-fire after 11 days of Israeli-Hamas fighting that killed 248 people and wounded 1,900.
Biden played down the idea that the newly ended fighting had opened a rift among Democrats, as after scores of Democrats split with Biden's "quiet diplomacy" with ally Israel to publicly demand a cease-fire.
"My party still supports Israel," Biden said.
On Thursday, Sen. Bernie Sanders and Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Mark Pocan and Rashida Tlaib introduced two separate resolutions aimed at blocking a planned $735 million weapons sale to Israel.
The president also said a two-state solution was the only answer to resolving the conflict between the two sides, and pledged to build a major package with other countries to help rebuild Gaza.
Biden, whose administration worked behind the scenes for days to reach a truce, said aid to the region would be coordinated with the Palestinian Authority - Hamas's Western-backed rival in the West Bank - to ensure Hamas was not able to restock its military arsenal.
He said Palestinians should also recognize the right of Israel to exist.
"Let's get something straight here: until the region says unequivocally they acknowledge the right of Israel to exist as an independent Jewish state, there will be no peace," Biden told reporters at a joint news conference with South Korean President Moon Jae-in.
Biden declined to discuss his recent discussions with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but said he believed the Israeli leader would maintain the ceasefire. "I'm praying this ceasefire will hold. I take Bibi Netanyahu - when he gives me his word - I take him at his word. He's never broken his word to me," Biden said.