Biden: What's happening in Gaza is not genocide

Joe Biden / Photo EPA-EFE/Sipa

US President Joe Biden has strongly defended Israel, saying Israeli forces did not commit genocide in the military campaign against Hamas militants in Gaza and rejecting criticism from pro-Palestinian protesters. Reuters.

"What is happening in Gaza is not genocide. We reject that," Biden said at the White House at an event for Jewish-American Heritage Month.

At many events around the country, Biden has faced protests from pro-Palestinian advocates who have called him "Joe the Genocide" because of his staunch support for Israel.

In a speech at the White House, Biden emphasized his belief that Israel has been a victim since the October 7 attack by Hamas militants in southern Israel, when they killed 1.200 people and took hundreds of hostages.

He also stressed that American support for the security of Israelis is "unwavering." "We stand with Israel to destroy (Hamas leader) Sinwar and other butchers of Hamas. We want Hamas to be defeated. We are working with Israel to do that,” he said.

Negotiations between Israel and Hamas to free the sick, elderly and wounded hostages still held by the militants have stalled, but Biden has vowed not to give up trying to free them.

Biden also called for an immediate cease-fire in Gaza, which he repeated in his commencement speech at Morehouse College on Sunday.

He also rejected a statement by International Criminal Court (ICC) chief prosecutor Karim Khan, who sought arrest warrants for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Galant for alleged war crimes.

The ICC prosecutor also said Monday that he had sought arrest warrants for Hamas chief Sinwar and two other Hamas leaders.

Biden has faced increasing political pressure from his own party in recent months over his handling of the Gaza conflict, as the Palestinian death toll has risen to more than 35.000, according to Gaza's health ministry, and the Israeli siege has created dire humanitarian conditions in Gaza.

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