In a recent interview with CBS, President of the United States, Joe Biden, has conveyed his stance on the ongoing crisis in the Gaza Strip. While expressing unwavering support for Israel’s efforts to eliminate the Hamas terror group, he emphatically rejected the idea of Israel reoccupying the Gaza Strip, citing it as a “big mistake.”
This statement from President Biden comes at a critical juncture as Israeli troops are reportedly preparing for a potential ground invasion of the Gaza territory. Despite the escalated tensions, the U.S. leader remains optimistic about Israel’s commitment to minimizing civilian casualties and preventing a dire humanitarian crisis within the Strip.
The latest trigger for this renewed conflict was a brutal rampage by the Hamas terror group on October 7, in which over 1,000 civilians were killed and more than 155 individuals were taken hostage in Gaza. Among the victims were men, women, and children, including infants, and reports have indicated horrifying incidents such as mutilation, rape, and torture of children.
Addressing this horrific assault and Israel’s response, President Biden stated, “I think Israel has to respond. They have to go after Hamas. Hamas is a bunch of cowards. They’re hiding behind the civilians.” He stressed the necessity of invading and “taking out the extremists.”
When asked whether Hamas must be entirely eliminated, President Biden responded in the affirmative, saying, “Yes, I do.” However, he expressed his reservations about supporting any potential occupation of Gaza by Israel, asserting, “I think it’d be a big mistake.”
President Biden further elaborated his position by emphasizing that, in his view, Hamas and its extremist elements do not represent the entirety of the Palestinian people. He believes that it would not be in Israel’s best interest to reoccupy Gaza. He acknowledged the historical context of Israel’s control of Gaza, which it took during the 1967 Six Day War and subsequently unilaterally withdrew from in 2005, allowing the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority to assume control of the area. However, due to rocket fire, Israel later imposed an air, land, and sea blockade on the Gaza Strip in 2006, affecting the 140-square-mile territory bordered by Egypt and the Mediterranean Sea.
The situation in Gaza remains a complex and highly sensitive matter, with international observers closely watching developments in the region as efforts continue to address the ongoing crisis.