Written by 12:11 World

Biden says there is ‘no equivalence between Israel and Hamas.’

President Biden said flatly on Monday that Israel’s military assault in Gaza in the wake of the Hamas-led Oct. 7 attacks “is not genocide.” “We reject that,” he said, telling an audience of Jewish leaders and activists that Americans “stand with Israel.”

Speaking at a celebration of Jewish Heritage Month in the Rose Garden at the White House, Mr. Biden condemned a decision by the prosecutor for the International Criminal Court to seek arrest warrants for top Israeli officials for crimes against humanity, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, when he requested warrants for three Hamas leaders on the same accusation on Monday.

“Let me be clear, we reject the I.C.C.’s application for arrest warrants against Israeli leaders,” Mr. Biden said, adding to a series of denunciations of the prosecutor’s actions from U.S. officials throughout the day. “Whatever these warrants may imply, there’s no equivalence between Israel and Hamas.”

American officials have said for months that Mr. Biden’s administration rejects the accusation that members of the Israeli military or the country’s political leaders are conducting a genocide against Palestinians in Gaza.

Gazan authorities say at least 35,000 people have been killed during Israel’s bombing campaign and ground offensive in Gaza in response to the Hamas-led attacks on Israel on Oct. 7. Israeli officials deny their forces have purposely targeted civilians, arguing Hamas purposely hides its forces among noncombatants. They also deny Israel has restricted aid to Gaza with the intent of starving people.

Just hours before Mr. Biden’s comments, John Kirby, a national security spokesman for the White House, rejected the implication from the I.C.C. move.


Last modified: 21 May 2024