Biden calls for pause in Israel Gaza conflict to get hostages out During a campaign fundraiser event, President Joe Biden responded to a heckler’s interruption by expressing his belief in the need for a “pause” in the Israel-Gaza conflict to facilitate the release of hostages. The heckler had called for a cease-fire, prompting Biden to clarify his statement, saying, “A pause means giving time to get the [hostages] out.”
The heckler inquired about the meaning of his statement, and President Biden explained, “A pause means giving time for the [hostages] to be released.”
Biden also highlighted his role in convincing Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to call for a cease-fire and in speaking with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi to encourage cooperation, with the latter reference appearing to relate to the Rafah crossing between Egypt and Gaza.
Biden’s statement on Wednesday night differed from the White House’s earlier stance on the Israel-Hamas conflict. The White House had previously maintained that they wouldn’t dictate how Israel should respond to Hamas’ actions. Biden explicitly referred to Hamas as a “terrorist organization.” A White House official clarified that Biden didn’t misspeak, suggesting that the term “cease-fire” could be interchangeable with “humanitarian pause.” The U.S. had been advocating for a humanitarian pause to deliver aid to Gaza’s trapped civilians.
“Secretary Blinken emphasized the need for tactical considerations, and we believe it’s essential to explore the possibility of implementing humanitarian pauses, as stated by White House national security spokesperson John Kirby in a recent interview with ABC News.”
“These represent momentary, geographically constrained halts on the battlefield, designed to facilitate the delivery of humanitarian aid to those in dire need or to enable people to safely exit the area. This concept of a humanitarian pause is something we consider worth investigating,” Kirby elaborated.