What's happening in Gaza is not genocide: Biden

U.S. President Joe Biden on Monday slammed the International Criminal Court prosecutor’s application for arrest warrants for senior Israeli officials including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, calling the move “outrageous”.

Updated - May 21, 2024 10:42 am IST

Published - May 21, 2024 09:32 am IST - WASHINGTON

U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks, at a celebration for Jewish American Heritage Month, in the Rose Garden at the White House, in Washington, U.S., May 20, 2024.

U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks, at a celebration for Jewish American Heritage Month, in the Rose Garden at the White House, in Washington, U.S., May 20, 2024. | Photo Credit: REUTERS

U.S. President Joe Biden strongly defended Israel on Monday, May 21, 2024, saying Israeli forces are not committing genocide in their military campaign against Hamas militants in Gaza in a rejection of criticism from pro-Palestinian protesters.

Also Read: ICC seeks arrest warrants for Netanyahu, Israeli Defence Minister Yoav Gallant for war crimes in Palestine; charges Hamas chief for Oct. 7 attack

"What's happening in Gaza is not genocide. We reject that," Mr. Biden said at a Jewish American Heritage Month event at the White House.

Mr. Biden has faced protests at many of his events around the country from pro-Palestinian advocates who have labeled him "Genocide Joe" for his steadfast support for Israel.

In remarks at the White House event, Mr. Biden stressed his belief that Israel was the victim dating back to the Oct. 7 attack on southern Israel by Hamas militants who killed 1,200 people and took hundreds of hostages.

He said U.S. support for the safety and security of Israelis is "ironclad."

"We stand with Israel to take out (Hamas leader Yahya) Sinwar and the rest of the butchers of Hamas. We want Hamas defeated. We're working with Israel to make that happen," he said.

Negotiations have stalled between Israel and Hamas in trying to gain the freedom of sick, elderly and wounded hostages still held by the militants, but Biden vowed not to give up trying to gain their release.

"We're going to get them home, we're going to get 'em home, come hell or high water," Mr. Biden said.

Mr. Biden has also called for an immediate ceasefire in Gaza, something that he reiterated in his commencement speech at Morehouse College on Sunday.

Mr. Biden also rejected the International Criminal Court's prosecutor for saying he had requested arrest warrants for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his defense chief over alleged war crimes

The ICC prosecutor on Monday also said he requested arrest warrants for Hamas chief Sinwar and two other Hamas leaders.

Mr. Biden in recent months has faced growing political pressure from his own party over his handling of the Gaza conflict, as the Palestinian death toll climbed to more than 35,000 people, according to the Gaza Health Ministry, and Israel's siege has created dire humanitarian conditions in the territory.

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