Biden: No Gaza Deadline Until Hamas Can’t Threaten Israelis

In San Francisco on Wednesday, President Joe Biden informed reporters that he won’t set a deadline for Israel to conclude its conflict with Hamas in Gaza until “Hamas no longer maintains the capacity to murder and abuse and do horrific things to the Israelis.”

On October 7, Hamas launched an attack on Israel, resulting in approximately 1,400 casualties, numerous injuries, and around 240 hostages. Recently, Hamas declared its intent to carry out similar attacks in the future with the goal of destroying Israel.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) are presently working to dislodge Hamas from its headquarters at Al Shifa Hospital. Hamas has been concealing terrorists and weapons at the hospital, a clear violation of the laws of war.

Israel presented evidence of Hamas’s use of the hospital on Wednesday.

During a press conference at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit, Biden commented on Israel’s actions at Al Shifa Hospital. He stated that Hamas committed “the first war crime” by locating its facilities at the hospital.

Biden mentioned that the U.S. had advised Israel to exercise caution at the hospital and emphasized that Israel was not engaging in carpet bombing. He highlighted Israel’s efforts in bringing medical equipment, including incubators, to assist patients and aid in the evacuation of doctors and nurses.

He was later questioned about the duration of his support for Israel in this operation and whether there were advancements in negotiations for the release of any Israeli hostages.

The president mentioned that he was involved in hostage negotiations via Qatar and expressed a mild sense of hope for a potential deal.

Biden conveyed that he had advised Israel against occupying Gaza post-war, reiterating his belief in the two-state solution as the optimal path to prevent future conflicts. He clarified that his commitment to doing “everything in my power” to bring hostages, including Americans, home did not encompass U.S. military intervention.

He also mentioned that the negotiations were stalled due to the unresolved issues of determining the number of hostages to be released, ranging from 15 to 100.

Some officials in the Biden administration have openly urged Israel to halt the war, drawing criticism. On Sunday, the father of an Israeli officer killed in action against Hamas delivered a eulogy at his son’s graveside, addressing Biden in English and advising the president not to press Israel to end the war, stating, “Let us do what we know how to do.”