Biden Criticizes Israel’s ‘Over the Top’ Response in Gaza, Urges Ceasefire

By Yoni Weiss

President Joe Biden reacts as he delivers remarks at the White House in Washington, Thursday. (REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)

President Joe Biden strongly criticized Israel’s military response in Gaza, characterizing it as “over the top” and calling for a sustained pause in the ongoing war against the Hamas. Biden’s remarks, delivered at the White House on Thursday, represent one of his most pointed public criticisms of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s government. The statement came amid growing domestic pressure on the Biden administration to influence Israel to halt its attacks on the Hamas terror group in Gaza.

The President also disclosed his efforts to broker a deal for normalizing relations between Saudi Arabia and Israel, along with advocating for increased humanitarian aid to Palestinian civilians and a temporary cessation of hostilities to facilitate the release of hostages held by Hamas.

Despite the challenges and Netanyahu’s rejection of a Hamas ceasefire proposal, diplomatic initiatives persist. A Hamas delegation, led by senior official Khalil Al-Hayya, arrived in Cairo on Thursday for talks with mediators from Egypt and Qatar. The delicate situation is exacerbated by fears of an imminent Israeli assault on Rafah, a city along Gaza’s southern border. The White House expressed concern over the potential humanitarian impact, emphasizing that an Israeli operation in Rafah without due consideration for civilian well-being would be a “disaster” and would not receive support.

Recent Israeli airstrikes in Rafah resulted in civilian casualties, fueling anxiety among the population.

The situation is further complicated by Israel’s threat to enter Rafah, potentially leading to a humanitarian catastrophe.

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