Joe Biden mistakenly called for a ceasefire in Gaza as he misspoke during a press conference. When the US president was asked whether he would support a “hostages-for-ceasefire” deal, under which Washington would urge Israel and Hamas to end hostilities temporarily to allow for the release of prisoners and delivery of aid, Joe Biden replied, “We should get the…we should have a ceasefire…not a ceasefire, we should have those hostages released, and then we can talk.”
This marks the first time the US president has suggested that Washington will be willing to discuss a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas once more than 200 hostages have been released by the terror group from where they have been imprisoned in Gaza.The question of a ceasefire has been fiercely debated among Western allies as leaders from France and the EU backing a “humanitarian ceasefire”. Elisabeth Borne, the French prime minister, and Josep Borrell, the EU’s top foreign diplomat, are supportive of a temporary end to hostilities.
Rishi Sunak, UK’s prime minister, said a ceasefire would be “difficult”, while United States officials said operational decisions about the conflict should be left to the Israeli Defence Forces. Matthew Miller, a US State Department spokesman, said temporary ceasefire would “give Hamas the ability to rest, to refit, and to get ready to continue launching terrorist attacks against Israel”.
“You can understand perfectly clearly why that’s an intolerable situation for Israel, as it would be an intolerable situation for any country that has suffered such a brutal terrorist attack and continues to see the terrorist threat right on its border,” he said.
Josep Borrell indicated that EU states were likely to announce their support for a ceasefire in the coming days.
“I believe that the idea of a humanitarian pause to facilitate the arrival of humanitarian aid, which would allow displaced persons to find shelter, is something that the leaders will support,” he said.