UNITED STATES NEWS

Biden says Israel needs to take more care to prevent civilian deaths

Mar 9, 2024, 5:00 PM | Updated: 6:59 pm

President Joe Biden speaks at a campaign rally Saturday, March 9, 2024, at Pullman Yards in Atlanta...

President Joe Biden speaks at a campaign rally Saturday, March 9, 2024, at Pullman Yards in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

(AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) — President Joe Biden said Saturday that he believes Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is “hurting Israel more than helping Israel” in how he is approaching its war against Hamas in Gaza.

The U.S. leader expressed support for Israel’s right to pursue Hamas after the Oct. 7 attack, but said of Netanyahu that “he must pay more attention to the innocent lives being lost as a consequence of the actions taken.” Biden has for months warned that Israel risks losing international support over mounting civilian casualties in Gaza, and the latest remarks in an interview with MSNBC’s Jonathan Capehart pointed to the increasingly strained relationship between the two leaders.

Biden said of the death toll in Gaza, “it’s contrary to what Israel stands for. And I think it’s a big mistake.”

Biden said a potential Israeli invasion of the Gaza city of Rafah, where more than 1.3 million Palestinians are sheltering, is “a red line” for him, but said he would not cut off weapons like the Iron Dome missile interceptors which protect the Israeli civilian populace from rocket attacks in the region.

“It is a red line,” he said, when asked about Rafah, “but I’m never going to leave Israel. The defense of Israel is still critical, so there’s no red line I’m going to cut off all weapons so they don’t have the Iron Dome to protect them.”

Biden said he was willing to make his case directly to the Israeli Knesset, its parliament, including by making another trip to the country. He traveled to Israel weeks after the Oct. 7. attack. He declined to elaborate on how or whether such a trip might materialize.

The U.S. leader had hoped to secure a temporary ceasefire before Ramadan begins next week, though that appears increasingly unlikely as Hamas has balked at a deal pushed by the U.S. and its allies that would have seen fighting pause for about six weeks, the release of additional hostages held by Hamas and Palestinian prisoners held by Israel, and a surge in humanitarian aid into Gaza.

Israel remains committed to continuing its invasion and annihilating Hamas, which killed about 1,200 people in Israel and took about 250 hostages on Oct. 7. The militant group freed dozens of hostages during a November truce, but it refuses to release more without guarantees of a complete end of hostilities.

Meanwhile, more than 30,000 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza according to the Hamas-run health ministry, with the majority being women and children, and hundreds of thousands going hungry.

Biden noted CIA Director Bill Burns is in the region currently trying to resurrect the deal.

Biden’s comments came after he was captured on a hot mic following Thursday night’s State of the Union address telling Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo. that he and the Israeli leader will need to have a “come to Jesus meeting.”

In the exchange, Bennet congratulated Biden on his speech and urged the president to keep pressing Netanyahu on growing humanitarian concerns in Gaza. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg were also part of the brief conversation.

Biden then responds using Netanyahu’s nickname, saying, “I told him, Bibi, and don’t repeat this, but you and I are going to have a ‘come to Jesus’ meeting.”

An aide to the president standing nearby then speaks quietly into the president’s ear, appearing to alert Biden that microphones remained on as he worked the room.

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

United States News

Associated Press

Takeaways from this week’s reports on the deadly 2023 Maui fire that destroyed Lahaina

HONOLULU (AP) — More than half a year after the deadliest U.S. wildfire in more than a century burned through a historic Maui town, officials are still trying to determine exactly what went wrong and how to prevent similar catastrophes in the future. But two reports released this week are filling in some of the […]

2 hours ago

A anti-abortion supporter stands outside the House chamber, Wednesday, April 17, 2024, at the Capit...

Associated Press

Democrats clear path to bring proposed repeal of Arizona’s near-total abortion ban to a vote

Democrats in the Arizona Senate cleared a path to bring a proposed repeal of the state’s near-total ban on abortions to a vote.

5 hours ago

Associated Press

Oklahoma man arrested after authorities say he threw a pipe bomb at Satanic Temple in Massachusetts

BOSTON (AP) — An Oklahoma man was arrested Wednesday after authorities accused him of throwing a pipe bomb at the Massachusetts headquarters of a group called The Satanic Temple. The Salem-based group says on its website that it campaigns for secularism and individual liberties, and that its members don’t actually worship Satan. Sean Patrick Palmer, […]

7 hours ago

Associated Press

Ellen Ash Peters, first female chief justice of Connecticut Supreme Court, dies at 94

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — Ellen Ash Peters, who was the first woman to serve as Connecticut’s chief justice and wrote the majority opinion in the state Supreme Court’s landmark school desegregation ruling in 1996, has died. She was 94. Peters, who also was the first female faculty member at Yale Law School, passed away Tuesday, […]

9 hours ago

Associated Press

Vermont farms are still recovering from flooding as they enter the growing season

BERLIN, Vt. (AP) — Hundreds of Vermont farms are still recovering from last July’s catastrophic flooding and other extreme weather as they head into this year’s growing season. Dog River Farm, in Berlin, Vermont, lost nearly all its produce crops in the July flooding. The farm removed truckloads of river silt and sand from the […]

9 hours ago

Associated Press

Appeals court leaves temporary hold on New Jersey’s county line primary ballot design in place

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — A federal appeals court on Wednesday affirmed a lower court’s decision to order New Jersey Democrats scrap a ballot design widely viewed as helping candidates with establishment backing. The 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals considered a slimmed-down appeal brought by the Camden County Democrats after the county clerks — the officials charged […]

10 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Desert Institute for Spine Care is the place for weekend warriors to fix their back pain

Spring has sprung and nothing is better than March in Arizona. The temperatures are perfect and with the beautiful weather, Arizona has become a hotbed for hikers, runners, golfers, pickleball players and all types of weekend warriors.

...

Fiesta Bowl Foundation

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade is excitingly upon us

The 51st annual Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe is upon us! The attraction honors Arizona and the history of the game.

(KTAR News Graphic)...

Boys & Girls Clubs

KTAR launches online holiday auction benefitting Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley

KTAR is teaming up with The Boys & Girls Clubs of the Valley for a holiday auction benefitting thousands of Valley kids.

Biden says Israel needs to take more care to prevent civilian deaths