Biden Warns Netanyahu Against Occupying Gaza

( – As Israel fights Hamas, President Joe Biden issued a warning against Israel reoccupying Gaza, stating that it would be a “big mistake.”

This is the first time since the Oct. 7 attack by Hamas that killed over 1,300, including at least 30 Americans, that Biden has issued a warning to Israel. While he has supported Israel’s right to defend itself from Hamas, he warned against a full-scale occupation of Gaza by Israel. Since the attack, Israel has heavily bombarded Gaza with a ground offensive expected to be launched soon by Israel. It is believed that more than 200 hostages, including at least 13 Americans, are being held in Gaza. Israel has warned Palestinians to move south and evacuate the northern part of the region.

Biden stated that Israel again occupying Gaza would “be a big mistake.” However, he stated that it “is a necessary requirement” to go in and take “out the extremists,” both in the south, Hamas, and in the north, the Hezbollah.

During the interview that aired on Oct. 15, Biden was asked if Hamas should be entirely eliminated. While he stated yes, he also said that there must “be a Palestinian Authority”, adding that there also must be “a path to a Palestinian state.”

A two-state solution has been supported by Biden as a solution to the conflicts in the Middle East. After the attack, Biden does not believe Israel “would pursue that option.”

Following the Oslo Accords, Gaza had been under the control of the Palestinian Authority. Then in 2005, Israel withdrew its military presence and its settlements formally from inside Gaza. In 2006, Hamas was elected to govern Gaza. There have been no elections since then.

Close to 5,000 Palestinians have been killed since the Oct. 7 attack, including 471 who were killed at the Al-Ahli Arabi Baptist Hospital on Oct. 17. It is estimated that 600 Americans could be trapped in Gaza.

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