Joe Biden, the president of the United States, has stated that although Israel must destroy the terrorist organisation Hamas, reoccupying the Gaza Strip is not an option.
In a Sunday interview with CBS, Biden stated that reoccupying the Gaza Strip would be a “big mistake.”
The Israeli military was preparing to invade the region on foot when the US President made this announcement.
He expressed confidence that Israeli forces will make an effort to limit civilian losses and take action to avert a catastrophic humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip.
Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has vowed to eradicate Hamas in reaction to the terror group’s brutal rampage across southern on October 7, in which 1,300 people — over 1,000 of them civilians — were killed and at least 155 more taken hostage to Gaza.
Among the victims were men, women, and children, including dozens of babies, and some of the victims were mutilated and there were reportedly incidents of rape, and torture of children.
Reacting to the horiffic assault and Israel’s response, Biden said, “I think Israel has to respond. They have to go after Hamas. Hamas is a bunch of cowards. They’re hiding behind the civilians.”
Invading and “taking out the extremists” is a “necessary requirement,” he added.
Asked if Hamas must be eliminated entirely, he replied: “Yes I do.”
However, asked if he would support any occupation of Gaza by Israel, Biden replied: “I think it’d be a big mistake.”
“Look, what happened in Gaza, in my view, is Hamas, and the extreme elements of Hamas, don’t represent all the Palestinian people. And I think that it would be a mistake for Israel to occupy Gaza again.”
Following its unilateral withdrawal from the Gaza Strip in 2005, which gave the Palestinian Authority located in the West Bank sovereignty of the enclave, Israel had taken over the territory during the 1967 Six-Day War.
Israel placed an air, land, and sea embargo on the 140 square mile (362 square km) strip of territory, which is surrounded by Egypt and the Mediterranean Sea, a year later in response to rocket firing.