Biden Warns Israel on Gaza Occupation As Rafah Crossing To Open for Humanitarian Aid to Gaza

Israel says " No Intention to Occupy Gaza"

In a stark warning, US President Joe Biden expressed his concerns about Israel's potential reoccupation of Gaza, following a deadly attack by Hamas on October 7 that claimed the lives of around 1,400 Israelis, including at least 29 American citizens.

President Biden, in an interview with CBS News, stated, "I think it'd be a big mistake for Israel to occupy Gaza again." He emphasized that the extremist elements of Hamas do not represent all Palestinians.

Joe Biden

The President stressed the need to address extremist elements in the region and called for the establishment of a Palestinian Authority and a path to a Palestinian state, expressing confidence in Israel's adherence to the rules of war.

Meanwhile the ongoing conflict has triggered a severe humanitarian crisis in Gaza, with overwhelmed hospitals and dwindling critical resources due to Israel's blockade. As the conflict continues, the death toll in Gaza has risen, with an estimated 3,000 people losing their lives. Foreign nationals will be allowed to use the Gaza border crossing into Egypt (Rafah Crossing) , with uncertainty surrounding its opening. Humanitarian aid is also expected to be permitted into Gaza through the Rafah crossing.

People Near Rafah Crossing

On Sunday, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced that the border crossing into Gaza, under Egyptian authority, will be reactivated. He also mentioned that the United States is collaborating with Egypt, Israel, and the United Nations to facilitate the passage of aid through this crossing.

Foreign nationals have gathered at the border after learning of the agreement, while rockets from Gaza continue to target Israel, and Israeli armored personnel carriers head toward the Gaza border.

A senior official in the Biden administration revealed that President Biden is contemplating a visit to Israel in the coming days, with travel plans still under discussion. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu extended an invitation for a "solidarity visit." President Biden underscored the distinction between Israel's response to Hamas and the suffering of the civilian population, stating that Israel is targeting a group responsible for severe violence.

Michael Herzog, the Israeli ambassador to the United States, confirmed that Israel has no intentions to occupy Gaza post-conflict, stating, "We have no desire to occupy or reoccupy Gaza. We have no desire to rule over the lives of more than 2 million Palestinians."

As tensions escalate, Israel has intensified its bombardment of Gaza and is preparing for a ground invasion. The Israeli military is establishing a base, deploying tanks, and arming along the Gaza border, in preparation for a coordinated attack on the Hamas-controlled area. The Israeli Air Force has been conducting sorties over the Gaza Strip, familiarizing top ground forces commanders with the terrain.

Israel has called on residents in affected areas to evacuate south, while Hamas has urged Gazans to ignore these warnings. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) reported roadblocks set up by Hamas to obstruct evacuations.