June 25, 2024

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Biden: Netanyahu is extending the Gaza war for political reasons

Biden: Netanyahu is extending the Gaza war for political reasons

US President Joe Biden said that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu may be delaying ending the war in Gaza for political reasons, according to an interview with Time magazine published today.

The interview was conducted on May 28, just days before Biden floated his Gaza ceasefire proposal, and at a time when the Israeli prime minister faces deep political divisions at home.

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Asked whether he believed Netanyahu was prolonging the war for his own political reasons, Biden said: “There is every reason for people to come to that conclusion.”

Biden, who has called for an end to the eight-month-old war, said it was “uncertain” whether Israeli forces had committed war crimes in Gaza.

Last month, the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court in The Hague requested arrest warrants for Netanyahu and the Israeli Defense Minister, as well as three Hamas leaders, on charges of war crimes.

Israel launched an air and ground attack on Gaza last October to destroy the Palestinian Islamic movement Hamas after it attacked inside Israel, killing about 1,200 people and taking more than 250 hostages, according to Israeli data. About 120 hostages remain in Gaza.

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Israeli operations led to the deaths of at least 36,000 people in Gaza, according to health authorities there, who say the bodies of thousands more were buried under the rubble.

Opinion polls show that most Israelis support the war, but they blame Netanyahu for security failures when Hamas militants stormed Israeli communities near Gaza on October 7, 2023, and would vote against him if elections were held.

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Massive street protests are taking place every week, with tens of thousands of people demanding that the government do more to repatriate hostages taken by Hamas on October 7, and demanding that Netanyahu step down.

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