Biden Says Israel Should Call a 6-8 Week Ceasefire in Gaza

It's unclear if his comments mean he will pressure Israel to do so

President Biden said in an interview with Univision that aired on Tuesday that Israel should call a six-to-eight-week ceasefire in Gaza and appeared not to condition a truce on a hostage deal with Hamas.

“So what I’m calling for is for the Israelis to just call for a ceasefire, allow for the next six, eight weeks, total access to all food and medicine going into the country,” Biden said in the interview, which was recorded last Wednesday, two days after Israel killed seven World Central Kitchen workers, including an American citizen.

“I’ve spoken with everyone from the Saudis to the Jordanians to the Egyptians. They’re prepared to move in. They’re prepared to move this food in. And I think there’s no excuse to not provide for the medical and the food needs of those people. It should be done now,” he added.

It’s unclear if the comments mean a shift in policy since on the same day the interview aired, Biden’s top aides were pinning the blame for the lack of a ceasefire on Hamas. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Hamas “has an opportunity now to agree to the proposal on a ceasefire and hostages. The ball is in Hamas’s court. The world is watching to see what it does.”

Hamas has rejected Israel’s latest proposal since it didn’t address the Palestinian group’s main demands, which include a permanent ceasefire and the free movement of displaced Palestinians to travel to northern Gaza.

It’s also unclear if Biden will use the significant leverage he has to pressure Israel to declare a unilateral ceasefire. The day after the interview aired, Biden spoke with Netanyahu and told him to take steps to allow more aid into Gaza. Israel has claimed more trucks are entering the Strip, but the UN is disputing the numbers, and a border crossing into northern Gaza that Israel vowed to open remains closed.

In the interview with Univision, Biden also called Netanyahu’s approach to Gaza a “mistake” and said he didn’t “agree with his approach.” But Biden has been Netanyahu’s biggest backer as his administration has approved over 100 arms deals for Israel, increased intelligence sharing, and has provided political cover by vetoing several UN Security Council resolutions calling for a ceasefire and rejecting the International Court of Justice’s ruling that it’s “plausible” Israel is committing genocide.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.