US President Joe Biden has voiced a clear rejection of the growing calls for a ceasefire in Gaza, arguing in a Washington Post op-ed that such a move would not lead to lasting peace. Published on Saturday, Biden's piece articulated a perspective that challenges the conventional approach to managing the conflict between Israel and Hamas.
“As long as Hamas clings to its ideology of destruction, a cease-fire is not peace," Biden wrote. He expressed concern that ceasefires have historically allowed Hamas to replenish its armaments and prepare for further conflict.
Biden emphasized that the objective should extend beyond stopping the current conflict to breaking the cycle of violence that has long plagued Gaza and the broader Middle East.
Biden’s Vision for the Future
In his article, Biden also addressed the need for Israel to adhere to humanitarian law and to minimize civilian casualties, sharing his counsel to Israeli officials during his visit to Tel Aviv.
He warned against letting "hurt and rage mislead them into making mistakes we ourselves have made in the past”. Looking towards a long-term resolution, Biden reaffirmed his commitment to a two-state solution as the only viable path to ending the enduring conflict in the region.
He proposed that, in the interim, governance in Gaza and the West Bank should be unified under a revitalized Palestinian Authority, paving the way toward this two-state solution.
Tackling Extremist Violence in the West Bank
Turning his attention to the West Bank, Biden expressed his concerns about extremist violence against Palestinians in this region.
The US, he stated, is ready to issue visa bans against those committing such violence. This stance reflects a broader commitment to holding individuals accountable for actions that exacerbate the conflict. These comments come amidst concerns regarding Israel's adherence to the Visa Waiver Program, which simplifies travel to the US for eligible individuals.
State Department spokesperson Matt Miller highlighted ongoing diplomatic discussions, indicating that the US expects Israel to address these concerns effectively.
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