Major powers urge Israel and Hamas to agree to Gaza ceasefire

US President Joe Biden on Tuesday appeared to play down a suggestion he made in an interview with Time magazine that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was dragging out the Gaza war for political reasons.

Speaking to Time last week, days before his announcement of an Israeli proposal for a Gaza ceasefire deal that Netanyahu greeted coolly, Biden was asked if he believed the Israeli was prolonging the conflict for his own political self-preservation.

“There is every reason for people to draw that conclusion,” Biden replied in the interview, which was published Tuesday.

But later in the day at the White House, the 81-year-old appeared to back away from the claim.

“I don’t think so, he’s trying to work out this serious problem he has,” Biden told reporters when asked if Netanyahu was “playing politics.”

The US leader admitted however in the interview to wider tensions with Netanyahu, saying they had a “major disagreement” over the post-conflict future of Gaza.

He also added that Israel had engaged in “inappropriate” conduct during its war on Gaza.

“My major disagreement with Netanyahu is, what happens after… Gaza’s over? What, what does it go back to? Do Israeli forces go back in?” said the Democrat.

“The answer is, if that’s the case, it can’t work.”


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