update deskU.S. News

Biden calls on Israel to cease fire, says PM’s war approach a ‘mistake’

“What I’m calling for is for the Israelis to just call for a ceasefire, allow for the next six, eight weeks total access to all food and medicine going into the country,” the U.S. president said.

  • U.S. President Joe Biden addresses the nation from the Oval Office about the response to the recent Hamas invasion of Israel and Russia’s ongoing war on Ukraine, Oct. 19, 2023. Photo by Oliver Contreras/White House.
    U.S. President Joe Biden addresses the nation from the Oval Office about the response to the recent Hamas invasion of Israel and Russia’s ongoing war on Ukraine, Oct. 19, 2023. Photo by Oliver Contreras/White House.
  • Israeli soldiers operating in the Gaza Strip, April 6, 2024. Credit: IDF.
    Israeli soldiers operating in the Gaza Strip, April 6, 2024. Credit: IDF.
  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with U.S. President Joe Biden in Tel Aviv, Oct. 18, 2023. Photo by Miriam Alster/Flash90.
    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu meets with U.S. President Joe Biden in Tel Aviv, Oct. 18, 2023. Photo by Miriam Alster/Flash90.
  • An Israeli military tank on the border with Gaza, April 7, 2024. Photo by Chaim Goldberg/Flash90.
    An Israeli military tank on the border with Gaza, April 7, 2024. Photo by Chaim Goldberg/Flash90.
  • U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem, Feb. 7, 2024. Photo by Amos Ben-Gershom/GPO.
    U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken meets with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem, Feb. 7, 2024. Photo by Amos Ben-Gershom/GPO.
  • Israelis take part in a protest outside the Knesset in Jerusalem marking six months since the Hamas-led Oct. 7 invasion, April 7, 2024. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90.
    Israelis take part in a protest outside the Knesset in Jerusalem marking six months since the Hamas-led Oct. 7 invasion, April 7, 2024. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90.
  • Israeli artillery firing into Lebanon, Jan. 15, 2024. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90.
    Israeli artillery firing into Lebanon, Jan. 15, 2024. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90.
  • An IAF fighter jet returns after an airstrike in Southern Lebanon, March 10, 2024. Photo by Ayal Margolin/Flash90.
    An IAF fighter jet returns after an airstrike in Southern Lebanon, March 10, 2024. Photo by Ayal Margolin/Flash90.

The Spanish-language television network Univision aired an hour-long, pre-recorded interview on Tuesday in which U.S. President Joe Biden criticized Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“I think what he’s doing is a mistake,” Biden said. “I don’t agree with his approach.”

The U.S. president appeared to state a previously unarticulated public position in the interview with the channel’s Enrique Acevedo.

“So I what I’m calling for is for the Israelis to just call for a ceasefire, allow for the next six, eight weeks total access to all food and medicine going into the country,” Biden said.

“I’ve spoken with everyone from the Saudis to the Jordanians to the Egyptians. They’re prepared to move in,” he said. “They’re prepared to move this food in. And I think there’s no excuse to not provide for the medical and the food needs of those people. It should be done now.”

The interview was recorded on April 3 in the afternoon, per pool reports at the time.

Last week, Biden demanded that Netanyahu improve the humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip, per a White House readout of their call on Thursday.

“President Biden emphasized that the strikes on humanitarian workers and the overall humanitarian situation are unacceptable,” the readout stated. “He made clear the need for Israel to announce and implement a series of specific, concrete and measurable steps to address civilian harm, humanitarian suffering and the safety of aid workers.”

Later Thursday, reporters repeatedly asked John Kirby, the White House national security communications advisor, if Biden had threatened Netanyahu.

Kirby declined to say what specific policy changes Washington would make if Israel failed to meet U.S. conditions. “If we don’t see changes from their side, there’ll have to be changes from our side,” he said.

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