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Biden criticizes Netanyahu’s handling of Gaza war, expresses concern for innocent lives

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President Joe Biden expressed criticism of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s approach to the ongoing conflict in Gaza, stating that it is “hurting Israel more than helping.” The US leader’s remarks underscore growing tension between the two allies as the humanitarian crisis in Gaza worsens and pressure mounts from within Biden’s own political base.

While acknowledging Israel’s right to defend itself and pursue Hamas, Biden emphasized the importance of minimizing civilian casualties, urging Netanyahu to consider the innocent lives lost as a consequence of military actions. He voiced concern over the dire situation in Gaza, particularly in Rafah, where a significant portion of the territory’s population resides under threat of Israeli offensive.

Regarding Israel’s potential invasion of Rafah, Biden’s stance appeared somewhat ambiguous. He initially referred to it as a “red line” but later nuanced his statement, emphasizing the critical nature of Israel’s defense while refraining from definitive positions on military actions.

Following his State of the Union address, Biden’s candid remarks captured on a hot mic revealed his intent to have a frank discussion with Netanyahu, employing the colloquial phrase “come to Jesus” meeting to convey the need for a course correction in their relationship.

Despite the shift in tone, Biden’s administration has resisted calls from activists to cut military aid to Israel. The ongoing conflict has resulted in significant casualties, with Gaza bearing the brunt of Israeli airstrikes, leading to widespread devastation and loss of civilian lives.

When questioned about the possibility of another trip to Israel, Biden remained non-committal, stating that he would consider it but refraining from disclosing any invitation. The uncertainty surrounding Biden’s future engagements with Israel reflects the delicate balance in US-Israel relations amidst escalating tensions in the region.

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