Biden Co-Chair, Dem Sen.: Hamas Blocks Aid by Not Surrendering, But Israel Should Deconflict and Needs to Do More

On Thursday’s broadcast of MSNBC’s “Andrea Mitchell Reports,” Biden Campaign Co-Chair Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE) acknowledged that the best way to get humanitarian aid into Gaza is to have a hostage and ceasefire deal and Hamas could end the conflict right now by releasing hostages, he and President Joe Biden have tried to convince Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to deconflict and “Israel needs to fully partner with the international community to deliver aid.”

Coons said, “Deconfliction is something I’ve raised directly with [Prime Minister] Netanyahu, and so have many American leaders, including our President. It is very difficult to distribute aid in the middle of a warzone. And the physical destruction on the ground in Gaza has been catastrophic. The Erez gate in the north has been reopened, and this pier…is helping reduce the humanitarian suffering, but not at the rate that we need. Israel needs to fully partner with the international community to deliver aid. The best way to do that is by achieving a hostage and ceasefire deal with Hamas. We have pushed Hamas indirectly through Qatar and Egypt as hard as we can. And President Biden has been tireless in being attentive to the concerns of the hostage families. There are several, I think eight, Americans currently still held.”

He continued, “I’ll remind you, on October 7, Hamas carried out a horrific terrorist attack that killed Americans, as well as people from two dozen countries around the world. And there are hostages being held today by Hamas beneath Gaza, from all faiths and backgrounds and from more than a dozen countries. I think more folks need to be aware of the fact that this could end tomorrow if Hamas would release the hostages and stop the fighting. But, frankly, it is a difficult and fraught situation and one where being attentive to the humanitarian crisis is a key part of President Biden’s response.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett


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