President Joe Biden said in a new interview he does not agree with Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s ongoing attacks in Gaza, issuing some of his harshest critique of the country’s war with Hamas so far.

“I will tell you, I think what he’s doing is a mistake,” Biden said of his Israeli counterpart in an interview with Univision’s Enrique Acevedo that aired Tuesday. “I don’t agree with his approach.”

The change in tone represents a dramatic shift in the U.S. policy following Hamas’ Oct. 7 attack in Israel that left 1,200 people dead. Israel’s assault in Gaza has since stretched more than six months, leaving at least 32,000 Palestinians dead.

The White House had resisted outright criticism of Netanyahu’s efforts while urging Israel and Hamas to reach a cease-fire agreement, despite the war’s growing civilian toll. But that support changed last week following the deaths of seven aid workers with World Central Kitchen, who were killed in an Israel air strike after delivering food in Gaza.

Biden has since warned Netanyahu that future U.S. support will be contingent on the protection of civilians, calling the ongoing humanitarian crisis “unacceptable.”

The president re-upped his calls for a cease-fire in the Univision interview, which was recorded last week just days after the aid workers were killed. Israel has taken responsibility for their deaths.

“I think it’s outrageous that those … vehicles were hit by drones and taken out on a highway where it wasn’t like it was along the shore, it wasn’t like there was a convoy moving there,” he said. “What I’m calling for is for the Israelis to just call for a cease-fire, allow for the next six, eight weeks total access to all food and medicine going into the country.”

The president added the U.S. had spoken to countries in the region who were prepared to move in food and other humanitarian aid.

“And I think there’s no excuse to not provide for the medical and the food needs of those people,” Biden added. “It should be done now.”

Israel approved the opening of a border crossing in northern Gaza for the first time since Oct. 7 following Biden’s call with Netanyahu.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Hamas needed to accept a new cease-fire deal brokered by the U.S. that would include the release of hostages. But Hamas has yet to respond to the proposal, and U.S. officials have said the group’s public statements so far “have been less than encouraging.”

In the Univision interview, Biden also slammed his predecessor and 2024 Republican rival, former President Donald Trump, calling him the greatest threat to the nation. He pointed to Trump’s behavior surrounding the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, which has resulted in a multi-pronged federal indictment.

“The idea that he would sit in the office … and watch for hours the attack on the capitol and the destruction and the mayhem and the people who were killed, the police officers who died, and call them political heroes? Call them patriots…” Biden said. “I can’t think of any other time in my lifetime that you’ve had somebody who’s had this kind of attitude.”


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