Biden, in Overheard Moment, Displays Increasing Frustration with Netanyahu Regarding Gaza Humanitarian Crisis

Credits: The Hill

President Joe Biden’s frustration with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appears to be growing, as evidenced by a recent hot mic moment captured after Thursday night’s State of the Union address.

Biden, speaking with Sen. Michael Bennet, expressed his intention to have a serious discussion with Netanyahu, saying, “I told him, Bibi, and don’t repeat this, but you and I are going to have a ‘come to Jesus’ meeting.”

Bennet had congratulated Biden on his speech and urged him to press Netanyahu on humanitarian concerns in Gaza. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg were also present during the conversation.

Biden (Credits: Middle East Monitor)

Upon being alerted that microphones were still on, Biden joked, “I’m on a hot mic here,” adding, “Good. That’s good.”

The president later acknowledged the comments, playfully chiding reporters for eavesdropping on his conversation. When asked if he believed Netanyahu should be doing more to alleviate humanitarian suffering, Biden responded affirmatively, stating, “Yes, he does.”

The humanitarian situation in Gaza has been deteriorating, with a significant food shortage affecting the entire population, according to the United Nations. Israeli control of aid trucks and a blockade on Gaza have exacerbated the crisis, leading to warnings of a potential famine.

Biden and Netanyahu (Credits: Asia Times)

Biden has publicly expressed frustration with the Netanyahu government’s reluctance to open more land crossings for aid to enter Gaza.

In his State of the Union address, Biden called on Israel to prioritize humanitarian assistance over other considerations, stating, “To Israel, I say this humanitarian assistance cannot be a secondary consideration or a bargaining chip.”

The president announced plans to establish a temporary pier to increase aid delivery to Gaza, with the U.S. military assisting in the effort. Last week, the U.S. military began air dropping aid into Gaza to address the urgent needs of the population.

Despite these efforts, Biden expressed doubts about reaching an extended cease-fire agreement between Israel and Hamas before the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which is expected to begin soon.

He also voiced concern about the potential for violence in east Jerusalem, citing past clashes between Palestinians and Israeli security forces during Ramadan.

Biden’s remarks reflect a growing sense of urgency to address the humanitarian crisis in Gaza and the need for Israel to take more proactive measures to alleviate suffering in the region.

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