Biden to Netanyahu: "It would be a big mistake" for Israel to occupy Gaza

Biden to Netanyahu: "It would be a big mistake" for Israel to occupy Gaza

US President Joe Biden on Wednesday (15/11) told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that a two-state solution was the only answer to resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and that occupying Gaza would be “a mistake big."

Biden told reporters he was making every effort to free hostages held by the Hamas militant group in Gaza, but that did not mean sending in the US military.

The US president told reporters this week that his message to the hostages was "Hang in there, we will come," raising questions about what he meant.

When asked to clarify the comments, Biden said at a news conference: "What I meant was, I did everything in my power to get you out. I came to help you, get you out. I didn't mean to send the military there. ... I didn't talking about the military."

Biden said he was continuing to work on the issue, and would not stop until the hostages – including a three-year-old US citizen child – were freed.

Qatar, where Hamas maintains its political office, has led mediation between the resistance group and Israeli officials for the release of more than 240 hostages taken by the militants when they invaded Israel on October 7. Israel said 1,200 people were killed in the attack.

Israel then launched relentless bombardment of Hamas-controlled Gaza and late last month began an armored invasion of the enclave, in which more than 11,000 people were killed, about 40 percent of them children and many more buried under rubble. .

Biden said Hamas committed war crimes by placing a military base under a hospital, repeating a statement a White House spokesman made on Tuesday, and he believed US intelligence supported those "facts."

He stated that Israel had entered Gaza's largest hospital, Al Shifa, with limited armed forces, and had not carried out bombings at the site.

"They were told we discussed the need for them to be very careful," Biden said, adding that Israel had an obligation to use as much caution as possible in pursuing targets.

However, Biden said it was "unrealistic" to expect Israel to halt its military actions, given threats from senior Hamas officials that they intended to attack Israel again.

Israel on Wednesday said its forces found weapons and Hamas combat equipment at Al Shifa hospital during a search that day.

Biden said he had told Netanyahu he did not believe the war would end until a two-state solution was reached.

"I have explained to Israel that I think it would be a big mistake if they occupied Gaza," Biden told Netanyahu.

War in the Sahel: Niger congratulates Mali

Niger congratulates Mali, after the recapture of the city of Kidal by the Malian armed forces and their Wagner auxiliaries. The press release was read on Wednesday evening on national television by the spokesperson for the Nigerien junta.

“The government and people of Niger learned with immense joy of the liberation of Kidal, on Tuesday, November 14, 2023, by the Malian armed forces, FAMA. This martyr city had remained under the yoke of terrorists and their sponsors, responsible for the destabilization of Mali as well as the whole of the Sahel, for several years." In essence says the message from the Nigerien military.

In his address to the nation, the spokesperson for the Nigerien CNSP, Colonel Major Abdramane Amadou - expresses - his country's hopes in the fight against terrorism plaguing neighboring Mali.

“This great victory undoubtedly constitutes a decisive turning point in the firm commitment of the highest Malian authorities to completely liberate their country and to work for a single Mali where the populations live in peace and in all rediscovered fraternity.” Extract from the press release from the Niger authorities.

As a reminder, the Malian army recaptured, on Tuesday, the strategic town of Kidal, in the north of the country, a stronghold of separatist groups dominated by the Tuaregs and in contempt of Mali's sovereignty.

Madagascar: the opposition persists in the call to boycott the elections

On the eve of the presidential elections in Madagascar, opposition candidates continue to call on voters to boycott. Tuesday, during a press conference in Antananarivo, the collective of 10 presented its preliminary demands.

“We will continue our peaceful march, our demands, our demonstrations until we manage to have an election accepted by everyone in Madagascar,” said opposition candidate Hajo Andrianainarivelo.

Recently accused by outgoing president Andry Rajoelina of wanting to sow chaos, the collective defends itself and sets the context.

"We are not boycotting the elections (as a whole, Editor's note), because we are candidates. But we do not accept the date of November 16, because it is an election which does not meet the required standards." Adds Hajo Andrianainarivelo.

The crisis erupted in September when the constitutional court refused to annul Rajoelina's candidacy because of his dual French nationality, sparking the anger of the opposition.

Several weeks of sometimes violent demonstrations have not made the Malagasy executive waver in favor of a possible postponement of the vote.
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