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In a recent interview, US President Joe Biden expressed his views on the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas, stating that any move by Israel to occupy Gaza would be a “big mistake”

Background

The conflict between Israel and Hamas has escalated recently, with both sides launching attacks. Israel has been preparing for a ground invasion of Gaza following an unprecedented attack by Hamas that killed more than 1,300 Israelis, mostly civilians, and took more than 120 hostages. In response, Israel has launched reprisal attacks that have flattened neighborhoods and killed at least 2,670 people in Gaza, the majority of whom are ordinary Palestinians.

Biden’s Perspective

President Biden believes that while the Hamas militant group must be eliminated, there should also be a path to a Palestinian state. He stated in his interview with 60 Minutes that he thinks it would be a big mistake for Israel to occupy Gaza. He further explained that Hamas does not represent all the Palestinian people.

The Rafah Crossing

In the midst of this conflict, there is hope that the Rafah crossing between Egypt and Gaza will reopen to allow aid into the region. The US has been trying to broker a deal to reopen this crossing to allow Americans and other foreigners to leave and for humanitarian aid amassed on the Egyptian side of the border to be brought in. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has stated that the crossing will reopen1, but no specific time has been given.

Implications of Occupation

The potential occupation of Gaza by Israel has raised serious concerns. Aid groups have warned of a humanitarian disaster if Israel puts boots on the ground in Gaza. There are fears of the conflict escalating and challenges in separating militants from civilians in the impoverished, densely occupied territory.

Conclusion

President Biden’s comments reflect his belief in a two-state solution in the Middle East. He supports eliminating Hamas but also believes in creating a path for a Palestinian state. His stance against Israeli occupation of Gaza underscores his commitment to finding a peaceful resolution to this complex issue.

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