The US President supports the idea of Israel and Palestine co-existing as a two-state solution, but does not see Hamas as a Palestinian interests’ representative.
Even despite the large-scale attack of Hamas militants on Israel on 7 October and the subsequent exchange of strikes that killed thousands of people, there is still space for a peaceful solution to the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, US President Joe Biden says. The escalation of the Middle East conflict was the subject of the program “60 Minutes” on the US TV channel CBS on Sunday, October 15.
According to Biden, there is still a path to “a two-state solution” in the region, but it must be found without Hamas’ involvement. The American leader called the group “a bunch of cowards who hide behind civilians” and the militants who attacked kibbutzim and a music festival near the Gaza Strip, as “barbarians bringing consequences as grave as the Holocaust”.
When the host mentioned that Israel had stated its intentions to completely destroy Hamas, Biden agreed with the proclamation.
Biden warned Israel against a possible occupation of the Gaza Strip
Hamas, meanwhile, did not represent Palestinian interests, and Israel probably realized “that a significant part of the Palestinian people did not share the views of Hamas and Hezbollah", Biden pointed out. He noted that the Palestinian people must have their own authority and “there must be a path to a Palestinian state,” although given the new conflict escalation, it was impossible to come to this solution at that time.
Nevertheless, if Israel decides to occupy the Gaza Strip, it would be a “big mistake,” Biden says. However, a ground operation by the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) in the territories is necessary to “remove extremists”.
The US does not plan to send its troops to Israel
Israel’s army is one of the best fighting forces in the region, the US President believes, so there is no need to send troops to help it. However, Washington will support Israel with everything it needs and warns other countries against getting involved in the conflict.
At the same time, Biden noted that he continued negotiations with the leaders of the countries of the region on the provision of humanitarian aid to the Gaza Strip residents. After the events of 7 October, Israel began a complete energy blockade of the Hamas-controlled territories, but on 15 October restored the water supply in the south of the Strip, where more than 600,000 residents from the northern part had already evacuated.
Earlier, Biden held talks with both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian National Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas. The latter expressed gratitude to the US President for “his interest, role and his administration’s efforts to achieve security, stability and peace in the region”.