In an opinion piece for The Washington Post, US President Joe Biden articulated his stance on the Gaza conflict, dismissing increasing calls for a ceasefire and emphasizing the need for a comprehensive resolution. According to Biden, a ceasefire, as long as Hamas maintains its destructive ideology, does not equate to peace. He argued that each ceasefire provides an opportunity for Hamas to replenish its weapons stockpile, reposition fighters, and resume attacks on innocent civilians.
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Biden highlighted the importance of moving beyond temporary halts in hostilities, urging for a long-term solution to break the cycle of violence. He emphasized the necessity of building a stronger foundation in Gaza and the broader Middle East to prevent history from repeating itself.
The President called for Israel to respect humanitarian law and minimize civilian casualties, advising against succumbing to hurt and rage that could lead to mistakes. He acknowledged counseling Israeli officials during his visit to Tel Aviv, drawing on lessons from past errors.
Biden advocated for a two-state solution as the only viable path to address the enduring conflict. He proposed the reunification of Gaza and the West Bank under a single governance structure, ultimately falling under a revitalized Palestinian Authority. This, he believes, aligns with the goal of working towards a lasting two-state solution.
Addressing extremist violence against Palestinians in the West Bank, Biden expressed the US’s readiness to issue visa bans against perpetrators. This warning coincided with concerns about Israel allegedly violating the Visa Waiver Programme.
The article also touched on the Biden administration’s proposal to Congress for over USD 105 billion in security assistance, earmarked for conflicts in Ukraine and Israel. Meanwhile, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu refuted reports of a possible hostage agreement with Hamas, pledging to continue the Gaza operation until the Palestinian group is overthrown and seized hostages are returned to the country. Netanyahu expressed gratitude for the continuous support from the United States in terms of defense equipment and vital munitions.
The White House clarified that there is no Israel-Hamas deal as of yet, affirming the US’s commitment to working diligently towards a resolution.