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Biden Says Israeli Occupation Of Gaza Would Be A "Big Mistake", But Israel"Has To Respond" To Attack

Biden Says Israeli Occupation Of Gaza Would Be A "Big Mistake", But Israel"Has To Respond" To Attack

President Joe Biden said it would be a "big mistake" for Israel to reoccupy Gaza, but that Israel "has to respond" and "go after Hamas" after last week's terror attacks - which he compared to the Holocaust - in an interview that aired Sunday.

Asked by "60 Minutes" if he agreed with a "total siege" of Gaza, Biden said he was confident Israel would act within the rules of war and there would "be an ability for innocents in Gaza to be able to have access to medicine and food and water".

The interview was shot by CBS News on Friday and aired on "60 Minutes" Sunday.

Asked if he would support an Israeli occupation of Gaza at this point, Biden answered more directly.

"I think it'd be a big mistake", he said. "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 to...for Israel to occupy...Gaza. We...but going in but taking out the extremists the Hezbollah is up north but Hamas down south. Is a necessary requirement".

It was his most public warning so far against an Israeli occupation of Gaza.

Biden also said he wanted to see aid supplies sent into Gaza and the establishment of a humanitarian corridor for civilians to leave the enclave, but said it was "hard". His administration was working on that with Israeli and Egyptian officials, he said.

While Biden said he believes Hamas must be eliminated entirely, he added "there needs to be a Palestinian Authority. There needs to be - a path to a Palestinian state.

Asked if there should now be a ceasefire, Biden voiced support for further actions against Hamas.

"Look, there a fundamental difference", Biden said. "Israel is going after a group of people who have engaged in barbarism that is as consequential as the Holocaust. And - so I think Israel has to respond. They have to go after Hamas".



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