President Bidens Speech Putting Pressure on Israel Instead of Hamas

President Biden's speech on the war in the Gaza Strip focuses pressure on Israel instead of Hamas, reflecting an acceptance of Hamas's continued rule in Gaza and a failure to address the threat posed by Hezbollah to northern settlements. Hamas claims to view the speech positively but maintains the same conditions for a hostage release deal and ceasefire.

 The Hamas organization was surprised by President Biden’s speech.

To appear flexible and willing to end the war, Hamas issued a statement saying, “It sees President Biden’s words positively.”

However, the content of the announcement shows that Hamas has not changed its basic conditions since the war began: an explicit commitment by Israel to completely stop the war in Gaza and withdraw all IDF forces from the Strip.

Hamas misrepresents that it does not reject the Israeli proposal and President Biden’s words, but in reality, it has not altered its positions.

In its announcement, Hamas set a series of conditions:

  • Ending the war completely with an Israeli commitment not to renew it.
  • Full withdrawal of all IDF forces from the Gaza Strip.
  • Return of all displaced people to northern Gaza.
  • Release of terrorists from prisons in Israel.
  • Restoration of the Gaza Strip from war damage.

Hamas fears that accepting the new Israeli proposal is a trap that will allow Israel to resume fighting at any time and enable the signing of a normalization agreement with Saudi Arabia.

Hamas and Iran are determined to torpedo such an agreement at any cost.

Over the Head of the Political Echelon in Israel

President Biden’s speech also surprised the political echelon in Israel.

The president spoke over the head of Prime Minister Netanyahu, directly to the Israeli people on Saturday evening, during prime-time television broadcasts.

This happened just before Benny Gantz’s expected retirement from the government this week and while the IDF was fighting in Rafah, not yet having completed the fighting or the demolition of Hamas’s military infrastructure.

Political circles in Jerusalem see President Biden’s speech as a move to arouse public opinion in Israel to pressure Prime Minister Netanyahu to end the war.

They view it as a weak speech that ignores the danger of continued Hamas rule and Hamas’s refusal.

President Biden appears willing to accept Hamas remaining in power, risking that it will rearm and become a military threat to Israel and the settlements near Gaza, where it committed a terrible massacre on October 7 last year.

President Biden estimates that a ceasefire in Gaza will also lead to a ceasefire on the northern border, but this does not remove the threat of Hezbollah, which continues to sit on the border with Israel in violation of UN Resolution 1701.

President Biden’s speech was mainly intended to put pressure on Israel instead of Hamas, even though he knows that Yahya Sinwar is not interested in an agreement.

Prime Minister Netanyahu unusually responded on Saturday to President Biden’s speech, trying to avoid confrontation. The message said: “The government is united in the desire to return the hostages. The (Israeli) outline allows for the return of the hostages and the elimination of Hamas’s capabilities.”

Biden’s speech reflects the American president’s great frustration with the impasse in negotiations and the resulting deadlock.

This situation removes the possibility of a normalization agreement between Israel and Saudi Arabia, thwarts the American president’s new vision for the Middle East, and harms his presidential election campaign.

Israel cannot accept Hamas remaining in power and the possibility of it rearming and threatening the settlements near Gaza and the State of Israel.

President Biden is demanding that Israel surrender to Hamas, which is an unrealistic expectation.

Yoni Ben Menachem Senior Middle East Analyst

About Yoni Ben Menachem

Yoni Ben Menachem is a Middle East senior analyst ,a journalist and
the former CEO of the Israel Broadcasting Authority(IBA). He has
decades of experience in written and video journalism. Ben
Menachem’s path in the media world began as a producer for
Japanese television in the Middle East. After that, he held many key
positions in the media The Israeli: CEO of the Israel Broadcasting
Authority, director of “Kol Israel” Radio, reporter on West Bank and
Gaza Strip affairs, political reporter and commentator, commentator
on Middle East affairs and editor-in-chief and presenter of the
program “Middle East Magazine”. 

Recent Posts

My Twitter