Biden suggest Netanyahu is dragging out war for 'political reasons'

President Joe Biden speaks at the White House in Washington on June 4 2024. Credit: AP

US President Joe Biden has suggested Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is prolonging the war in Gaza for political reasons.

When questioned on whether Netanyahu could have a political motive for doing so during an interview with TIME magazine, the US President said: “There is every reason for people to draw that conclusion."

Biden also said in the interview it wasn’t clear whether Israel’s actions constitute war crimes - an allegation made by the International Criminal Court (ICC) when it issued arrest warrants for some Israeli leaders last month.

But he did say Israel had engaged “in activity that is inappropriate.”

Palestinians wounded in an Israeli airstrike on a vehicle are brought to at al-Aqsa Martyrs hospital in Deir al Balah. Credit: AP

He continued: “The answer is it’s uncertain and has been investigated by the Israelis themselves. The ICC is something that we don’t, we don’t recognise.

"But one thing is certain, the people in Gaza, the Palestinians have suffered greatly, for lack of food, water, medicine, etc. And a lot of innocent people have been killed.

"But it is – and a lot of it has to do not just with Israelis, but what Hamas is doing in Israel as we speak. Hamas is intimidating that population.”

In response, the Israeli government spokesperson, David Mencer, said Biden’s remarks about Netanyahu and Israeli politics were “outside the diplomatic norms of every right-thinking country”.

This comes as Congress is expected to pass legislation to sanction the ICC for seeking an arrest warrant for Netanyahu, after alleging he has committed war crimes in Gaza.

Palestinian mourns a relative killed in the Israeli bombardment of the Gaza Strip outside a hospital in Deir al Balah. Credit: AP

The Israeli military has confirmed airstrikes and ground troops have descended on Gaza's Bureij refugee camp on Tuesday.

The military statement said it was conducting “a precision operation” targeting Hamas positions.

As Israel continues its offensive in Gaza, international mediators wait for Israel and Hamas to respond to a new ceasefire and hostage release proposal announced on Friday.

So far, 36,000 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli ground operations and airstrikes in Gaza, according to its Health Ministry.

Israel launched the war in Gaza after Hamas’ October 7 attack, during which militants stormed into southern Israel and killed some 1,200 people and abducted about 250.

Around 80 hostages are believed to still be alive in Gaza, along with the remains of 43 others.

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