Biden Walks Back Call for Israel to Declare a Ceasefire in Gaza

He is sticking to his position of linking a temporary ceasefire to a hostage deal and says it's 'up to Hamas'

President Biden on Wednesday walked back a call for Israel to declare a six-to-eight-week ceasefire in Gaza, saying the truce must be tied to a hostage deal and that it was “up to Hamas.”

The comments came a day after an interview aired in which Biden appeared to say Israel should unilaterally declare a temporary ceasefire, which would have marked a major shift in policy. According to The Times of Israel, the White House already walked back his call, saying he was referring to a hostage deal that’s being negotiated.

“It’s now up to Hamas. They need to move on the proposal that has been made [so we can] get these hostages home where they belong,” Biden said during a press conference on Wednesday. “It also brings back a six-week ceasefire that we need now.”

There’s no indication a hostage deal is close as Hamas is sticking to its demand for a permanent ceasefire and the withdrawal of Israeli troops from Gaza. Israel has rejected the demands as Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed any truce will be temporary.

Biden refuses to pressure Israel to end its onslaught in Gaza despite the massive civilian casualties and starvation blockade Israel is imposing, which has put the entire population of the Strip on the brink of famine. The State Department has even acknowledged that famine could already be taking place in some areas of Gaza.

Biden is also not budging in the face of significant opposition to his support for Israel from within the Democratic Party. Over 500,000 people cast ballots for “uncommitted” or “uninstructed” in Democratic primaries across the country to protest the slaughter of Palestinians in Gaza.

Author: Dave DeCamp

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