Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Biden mentions that the violence in Gaza may make it harder to negotiate a truce

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Over a hundred Palestinians were killed in Gaza at a place where food was being distributed. Israeli soldiers started shooting, causing chaos as people were getting food aid. President Joe Biden said on Thursday that this incident makes ceasefire talks more urgent but could also make them harder.

“We’re looking into it now; there are two different stories about what happened. I don’t have an answer yet,” the president told CNN at the White House. When asked if he’s worried that the deaths will make negotiations difficult, he said, “Oh, I know it will.”

The Gaza Health Ministry said at least 100 people died when Israeli forces shot at civilians waiting for food. A local reporter said many were crushed under aid trucks trying to escape the shooting.

The Israel Defense Forces are reviewing the incident. After almost five months of war between Israel and Hamas, the humanitarian crisis in Gaza is getting worse. Over 30,000 people, including many children, have been killed, and hundreds of thousands are starving.

While the world pressures Israel to stop the conflict, the United States, mainly through President Biden, has supported Israel. Biden has not called for a permanent ceasefire, and this stance may hurt him politically.

Ceasefire negotiations have seen progress recently, but a Hamas leader warns that the recent killings might ruin the talks. Biden talked to the leaders of Qatar and Egypt on Thursday, countries crucial in the negotiations.

The situation “adds urgency to the process,” a senior official said. Biden and the Qatari Emir agreed the incident showed the need to conclude negotiations soon. The call with Egypt’s President had a similar tone.

Biden’s national security team has been working on the negotiations. The president hopes for a ceasefire by next Monday, but some involved parties were surprised by this statement. The White House remains optimistic but acknowledges the seriousness of the situation.

“We’re investigating what happened, it’s a serious matter. We mourn the loss of innocent lives and understand the dire situation in Gaza. This emphasizes the need for more humanitarian aid and a potential temporary ceasefire. We’re working hard to achieve that,” a National Security Council spokesperson stated.

Biden continues to express hope for a deal on hostages and a ceasefire but admits it might not happen as soon as he initially thought. “Hope springs eternal,” he said. “Probably not by Monday, but I’m hopeful.”

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