Photo Credit: Avi Ohayon/GPO
President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Tel Aviv, Oct. 18, 2023.

US President Joe Biden has once again chosen a public forum in which to express his deep dissatisfaction with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s commitment to destroy Gaza’s ruling Hamas terrorist organization, an Iranian proxy.

The president also accused Israel of failing to provide food and medicine to Gaza civilians and demanded Israel unconditionally agree to a temporary ceasefire to remedy the problem.


During an interview with Univision that aired Tuesday, Biden said, “Well, I will tell you, I think what he’s doing is a mistake. I don’t agree with his approach.

“I think it’s outrageous that those three (World Central Kitchen) vehicles were hit by drones and taken out on a highway … so what I’m calling for is for the Israelis to just call a ceasefire, allow for the next six-eight weeks, total access to all food and medicine going into the country.

“I’ve spoken with everyone from the Saudis, to the Jordanians, to the Egyptians; they’re prepared to move in, they’re prepared to move this food in, and I think there’s no excuse to not provide for the medical and the food needs of those people. It should be done now,” Biden said.

It’s not quite that simple, however. On Sunday, 419 trucks of humanitarian aid entered Gaza. The next day, the number of trucks went even higher: 468 aid trucks were inspected by Israel and transferred to Gaza — the highest number of aid trucks entering the enclave in one day since the start of the war. Since the weekend, more than 1,200 aid trucks entered the enclave — and that figure does not include the hundreds and thousands of meals air dropped over Gaza by a coalition of nations, including Jordan, the United States and the United Arab Emirates.

But the reality remains that nearly all of it is taken by Hamas and related criminal gangs who then sell it in the market at exorbitant prices, rather than distribute it free to Gaza civilians as they are meant to do.

“Hamas is in charge of Gaza,” US Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) pointed out Tuesday at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing. “When aid goes to Gaza Hamas doesn’t divert it or commandeer it or steal it — it accepts it, and anybody operating in Gaza is under the thumb of Hamas.”

Meanwhile, Netanyahu appears to be standing firm. The prime minister said Tuesday during remarks to Israeli military troops, “No force in the world” will stop Israel Defense Forces from entering Rafah, a city on the Gaza-Egyptian border where it is believed Hamas is holding many of Israel’s hostages — including some dual American citizens — and where at least four Hamas battalions are gearing up for combat.

Some 1.5 million Gaza civilians are also gathered in Rafah, having fled to the city from combat taking place in other areas in the enclave. The US has repeatedly ordered Israel to present a “credible” plan for the evacuation and care of these civilians prior to launching any ground operation in Rafah. Israel’s slow response to these demands has not gone down well with White House officials.

Earlier this week, Netanyahu announced in a brief statement that despite all the pressure from international and US quarters, the IDF will indeed enter Rafah to eliminate the remaining Hamas battalions and hopefully find the hostages.

“This will happen. There is a date,” Netanyahu said.

Needless to say, the Israeli leaders remarks again infuriated the White House.

US National Security Council Adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters in a briefing at the White House on Tuesday, “If he has a date, he hasn’t shared it with us, though I have seen his public comments.

“I’m not going to comment on hypotheticals, but I will state here what I stated the last time I stood at this podium,” Sullivan said. “The United States does not believe that a massive ground invasion of Rafah, where 1.3 or more million people are sheltering, having been pushed out of other parts of Gaza that are now destroyed, into the area where humanitarian assistance comes in.

“This is not the best way forward,” Sullivan said. “There are better ways to go after Hamas in Rafah. We presented those ways to our Israeli counterparts in the session we held last week, there have been ongoing technical talks between our teams since then, and I anticipate we’ll have another opportunity at senior levels to engage them on Rafah and that conversation will stay ongoing, and then we will make determinations about how we proceed based on how those conversations unfold.”

Sullivan did acknowledge, however, that the situation is very complex. “I sat in the Situation Room not long ago in a secure video conference that went on for hours, going into specifics on this … what I can tell you is that we have open channels of communication with the Israelis on these issues. They understand our position and we have been very clear about our deep and abiding concerns about the Rafah operation and our belief that there are better ways to deal with the strategic threat Hamas poses than some of the ideas that have been put forward, and our further belief that any kind of plan to protect civilians in a serious way in Rafah is something we have yet to see be presented to us, and so our concerns continue.

“Now we will have to wait and see what happens and the United States will respond accordingly,” he added.

“I have not yet seen a credible and executable plan to move people that has any level of detail about how you not only house, feed, and provide medicine for those innocent civilians but also how you deal with things like sanitation, water and other basic services,” Sullivan said.

Regarding an Israeli plan to purchase 40,000 tents to help house evacuees from Rafah, Sullivan said he was “not going to stand at the podium and substitute for the judgment of humanitarian experts who could speak to that precisely on the shelter front as well as on all of these other fronts I just described.”

It might be appropriate to point out at this point that the leading United Nations humanitarian aid organization in Gaza with that so-called “expertise” — the UN Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), has long been allied with Hamas, with many of its employees proven to have participated in the October 7 massacre of more than 1,200 Israeli and other citizens during the Hamas-led attack.

From the start of the war launched by Hamas, Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant have repeatedly emphasized the three goals of Israel’s defense military response to the attack:
1. to return all of the 253 hostages abducted by the Hamas-led terrorists on October 7, living and not;
2. to completely dismantle the governing and military capabilities of Hamas, thus creating an opportunity for a new, non-terrorist government in Gaza; and
3. to ensure that Gaza can never again present a threat to its Israeli neighbor.

At the start of the war, President Biden wholeheartedly endorsed those goals. But as time has passed and collateral casualties continue to mount due Hamas using Gaza’s civilian population as human shields — the group’s traditional tactic — the American president and his advisers have come under intense international pressure to bring an end to the conflict, and they are beginning to buckle.

“At last count 16 world leaders have called Biden and pushed him to stop arming Israel,” a source in Washington DC told

“But he hasn’t done it.”



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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.