In a recent interview with CBS 60 Minutes, US President Joe Biden expressed his support for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) in their efforts to eliminate Hamas militants in Gaza. However, he also made it clear that he does not support any long-term Israeli occupation of the region. Biden believes that while the IDF going in and taking out the extremists is a necessary requirement to guarantee the security of the Jewish state, a continued occupation of Gaza would be a big mistake.
The US president assured that the United States will provide Israel with everything they need to carry out their mission effectively, but he does not expect American troops to participate in any combat operations. Biden praised Israel for having one of the finest fighting forces in the world and expressed confidence that they will do everything in their power to avoid the killing of innocent civilians.
The Israel Defense Forces announced over the weekend that they are preparing for a significant ground operation in Gaza, which will involve a joint and coordinated attack from the air, sea, and land. While acknowledging the need for Israel to respond to the barbarism committed by Hamas, Biden urged the Israelis to take precautions to protect innocent civilians.
It is important to note that Biden emphasized a fundamental difference between Israeli civilians killed by Hamas militants and Palestinians dying in retaliatory airstrikes. While both are tragic losses of life, Biden believes that Israel has the right to defend itself against a group that has engaged in violence as consequential as the Holocaust.
Israel occupied Gaza during the Six-Day War in 1967 and held it for nearly 40 years until 2005 when it withdrew its troops and settlers. However, Israel maintained full control of the region’s borders. In 2006, Hamas won the Palestinian legislative elections and took administrative control of Gaza. Since then, Hamas has engaged in multiple violent confrontations with Israel, prompting harsh responses. The recent escalation of violence has been particularly brutal.
When asked if he would support another Israeli occupation of Gaza at this point, Biden stated that he believes it would be a big mistake. Instead, he emphasized the importance of targeting and eliminating the extremists, such as Hamas, while avoiding a long-term occupation.
In an effort to put pressure on Iran, Hezbollah in Lebanon, and other pro-Palestinian forces to stay out of the Israel-Gaza conflict, the United States has sent a second aircraft carrier to the Eastern Mediterranean. However, Biden acknowledged that, at this point, there is no clear evidence linking Iran to the deadly raid carried out by Hamas militants on Israel.
Overall, Biden’s remarks demonstrate his support for Israel’s right to defend itself against Hamas but also highlight the importance of avoiding a prolonged occupation of Gaza. He believes that the IDF’s efforts to eliminate the extremists are necessary for ensuring the security of the Jewish state. The US president has pledged to provide Israel with the support and resources they need to accomplish their mission effectively.