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Biden says Netanyahu ‘hurting Israel’ by not stopping extra civilian deaths in Gaza

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President Biden stated Saturday that he believes Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is “hurting Israel greater than serving to Israel” in how he’s approaching its conflict towards Hamas in Gaza.

The U.S. chief expressed assist for Israel’s proper to pursue Hamas after the Oct. 7 assault, however stated of Netanyahu that “he should pay extra consideration to the harmless lives being misplaced as a consequence of the actions taken.” Biden has for months warned that Israel dangers dropping worldwide assist over mounting civilian casualties within the Gaza Strip, and the newest remarks in an interview with MSNBC’s Jonathan Capehart pointed to the more and more strained relationship between the 2 leaders.

Biden stated of the demise toll in Gaza, “It’s opposite to what Israel stands for. And I believe it’s an enormous mistake.”

Biden stated a possible Israeli invasion of the Gaza metropolis of Rafah, the place greater than 1.3 million Palestinians are sheltering, is “a purple line” for him, however he wouldn’t reduce off weapons just like the Iron Dome missile interceptors that shield the Israeli civilian populace from rocket assaults within the area.

“It’s a purple line,” he stated, when requested about Rafah, “however I’m by no means going to depart Israel. The protection of Israel remains to be important, so there’s no purple line I’m going to chop off all weapons so that they don’t have the Iron Dome to guard them.”

Biden stated he was keen to make his case on to the Israeli Knesset, its parliament, together with by making one other journey to the nation. He traveled to Israel weeks after the Oct. 7. assault. He declined to elaborate on how or whether or not such a visit may materialize.

The U.S. chief had hoped to safe a brief cease-fire earlier than Ramadan begins, although that seems more and more unlikely as Hamas has balked at a deal pushed by the U.S. and its allies that might have seen combating pause for about six weeks, the discharge of further hostages held by Hamas and Palestinian prisoners held by Israel, and a surge in humanitarian assist into Gaza.

Israel stays dedicated to persevering with its invasion and annihilating Hamas, which killed about 1,200 folks in Israel and took about 250 hostages on Oct. 7. The militant group freed dozens of hostages throughout a November truce, however it refuses to launch extra with out ensures of an entire finish of hostilities.

In the meantime, greater than 30,000 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza, in response to the Hamas-run Well being Ministry, with the bulk being ladies and youngsters, and a whole bunch of hundreds going hungry.

Biden famous that CIA Director William Burns is within the area attempting to resurrect the deal.

The president’s feedback got here after he was captured on a sizzling mic following Thursday evening’s State of the Union deal with telling Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.) that he and the Israeli chief might want to have a “come to Jesus assembly.”

Within the alternate, Bennet congratulated Biden on his speech and urged the president to maintain urgent Netanyahu on rising humanitarian considerations in Gaza. Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg had been additionally a part of the temporary dialog.

Biden then responds utilizing Netanyahu’s nickname, saying, “I advised him, Bibi, and don’t repeat this, however you and I are going to have a ‘come to Jesus’ assembly.”

An aide to the president standing close by then speaks quietly into the president’s ear, showing to alert Biden that microphones remained on as he labored the room.

“I’m on a sizzling mic right here,” Biden says after being alerted. “Good. That’s good.”

Miller is the Related Press White Home correspondent.

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