President Joseph R. Biden, Jr. spoke this morning with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel. The leaders discussed developments in Gaza. The President expressed his deep concern for the hostages that remain in Gaza. He reiterated that the ICRC must be permitted to access remaining hostages held by Hamas terrorists. He noted that it was Hamas’s refusal to release young women civilian hostages that led to a breakdown in the humanitarian pause. The leaders agreed to remain deeply engaged to pursue every possible opportunity to free the remaining hostages.
The President underscored the importance of the continuous and sustained flow of humanitarian aid into Gaza. He welcomed the recent Israeli decision to ensure that fuel levels will meet requisite needs, but stressed that much more assistance was urgently required across the board. The President emphasized the critical need to protect civilians and to separate the civilian population from Hamas including through corridors that allow people to move safely from defined areas of hostilities.
President Biden reiterated his concern about extremist violence committed against Palestinians and the need to increase stability in the West Bank.
The President and the Prime Minister agreed to remain in regular consultation both directly and through their respective national security teams.