Reoccupying the Gaza Strip would be a major mistake, warns Biden to Israel - NewssMex

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lunes, 16 de octubre de 2023

Reoccupying the Gaza Strip would be a major mistake, warns Biden to Israel

EFE

President Joe Biden warned Israel that reoccupying the Gaza Strip would be a "big mistake," although he defended Israel's right to enter the Palestinian enclave to eliminate fighters from the Islamist group Hamas.

Biden's statements, made in an interview broadcast on Sunday by CBS, represent his first public attempt to try to contain the reprisals that Israel has taken against the Gaza Strip since Hamas's attack on October 7.

Until now, Biden had reaffirmed his unwavering support for Israel and had avoided criticizing the Jewish state for the blockade imposed on Gaza, which has prevented the entry of water, food, and medicine since Hamas's attack, despite warnings from the UN about the possibility of a humanitarian crisis.

However, in the interview, the president expressed reservations about a large-scale occupation of the Gaza Strip.

"I think it would be a big mistake," Biden told CBS in the interview recorded on Thursday and broadcast on Sunday night.

"What happened in Gaza, in my opinion, is that Hamas and the extremist elements of Hamas do not represent the entire Palestinian people. And I think it would be a mistake for Israel to occupy Gaza again," he said.

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However, Biden considered it necessary to "eliminate the extremists" who hide among the civilian population in the Gaza Strip.

The Gaza Strip was administered by Egypt between the armistice of the 1949 Arab-Israeli War and the 1967 Six-Day War, when Israel took control of the Sinai, Gaza, the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Golan Heights.

Israel withdrew from Gaza in 2005. The following year, Hamas, considered a terrorist group by several countries (including Israel, the United States, and the European Union), ran in the 2006 elections and won the majority of seats in the Palestinian Legislative Council.

Faced with the international threat of sanctions, the Islamist movement accepted a unity government with the president of the Palestinian Authority (PA), Mahmoud Abbas.

However, violent street fighting in Gaza between Hamas sympathizers and those of the Palestinian president ended with the expulsion of the latter from the enclave.

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Hamas has been ruling de facto since 2007, and since then, the territory has been isolated and blocked by land, sea, and air by Egypt and Israel. It also depends on the Jewish state for supplies.

The Israeli army forcibly entered the Gaza Strip in 2009 and 2014 but chose not to remain in that territory in both cases.