“Hamas unleashed a terrorist attack because they fear nothing more than Israelis and Palestinians living side by side in peace,” Biden wrote on his personal X (née Twitter) account. “To continue down the path of terror, violence, killing, and war is to give Hamas what they seek. We can’t do that.”
Since Hamas killed about 1,200 Israelis and kidnapped hundreds more in a surprise Oct. 7 invasion, Biden has been toeing a diplomatic line with the United States’ Middle East ally. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to keep fighting back until Hamas is eliminated. But the cost in Palestinian civilian lives has been high, and pressure is mounting on the president to rethink his restraint in asking Israel to pull back and to rethink the nation’s no-strings-attached assistance to Israel.
The president recently allowed that conditions on aid to Israel are a “worthwhile thought.”
Biden made a nearly identical warning about giving Hamas “what they seek” on Nov. 24. But isolating his plea in a tweet was interpreted by at least one news outlet as a veiled push for Israel to halt its offensive (and reported as such in a previous version of this story by HuffPost.) However, the White House said it was not Biden’s intention at all.